A new initiative by the non-profit Mended Little Hearts and St. Jude Medical will offer an important new resource for parents who need answers—and it’s being headlined by none other than the mother of “Little Darth Vader,” Jennifer Page. You may know her son Max from his appearances on the soap opera “The Young and the Restless” and from his well-known role as little Darth Vader in a Volkswagen Super Bowl commercial that has become a classic. Max was born with a congenital heart defect and received a St. Jude Medical pacemaker when he was 3 months old. At age 7, the child-actor had to have open-heart surgery because of his condition. The surgery replaced his pulmonary valve and repaired a hole in his heart. The valve should last another 10-15 years before it has to be replaced with noninvasive surgery. Now Jennifer is reaching out to other parents with the information they need.
In many cases, these kinds of problems in children aren’t properly diagnosed until it’s too late, as in the tragic cases you may have heard about high school athletes dying suddenly on the basketball court or football or soccer field. The new initiative will spread awareness with online resources from Mended Little Hearts and St. Jude Medical.