Max Page, 7, says he feels better, despite "a little pain in my chest"
Credit: Courtesy Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Since undergoing open-heart surgery Thursday, Max Page has walked, talked and flashed his smile under the watchful eye of his doctors at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

But the 7-year-old, who channeled Darth Vader in a popular 2011 Volkswagen Super Bowl commercial, hit a very important milestone on his road to recovery Tuesday: He woke up at home.

Max, who was born with a congenital heart defect, left the hospital Monday, feeling better other than “a little pain in my chest,” he told reporters at a press conference.

“My teary moments were when we first walked in last Wednesday because I knew what was coming,” added Max’s mom, Jennifer Page. “As we packed up today and walked out that doorway, I fell apart in my husband’s arms again and said, ‘We’re going home.’ ”

He’ll spend the next six to eight weeks recovering from the surgery, which replaced a pulmonary valve with a new, small adult-sized valve that should last 10 to 15 years. Pediatric Cardiologist Michael Silka, co-director of The Heart Institute at the hospital, said Max’s body still needs to accept the valve, and he’ll be monitored for infection.

But for now, Max is raising money for patients who can’t afford treatments at the children’s hospital, and donations can be made here. And it’s the simple, everyday things the young actor – who’s had reoccurring roles on The Young and the Restless and Prime Suspect – is thinking about, like playing with his friends and enjoying a particular frosty dessert.

“I am excited about a lot of things,” he said, “especially having a milkshake.”