Darth Vader kid's heart surgery a success


Thursday, Max's pulmonary valve was replaced during open heart surgery. Although serious, the operation is considered low-risk. Doctors say only about one in 100 cases have complications. And now they're happy to deliver the good news that it went smoothly.

"I think Max was more calm than the parents, actually, so I thought everything went well this morning," said heart surgeon Dr. Vaughn Starnes.

Recovery time will take about eight weeks, and although Max is a happy and active boy, doctors say he will have energy and health he's never known.

Over the years, the congenital heart defect Max was born with exposed another one of his talents: He is an ambassador for Children's Hospital Los Angeles and has raised more than $50,000 for the hospital last year alone. He's even lobbied Congress against Medicaid cuts.

"He's an example for other children having to undergo procedures, so I think we are very indebted to him for being so open with his heart problem," said Starnes.

This is Max's eighth surgery. He and his family are asking his fans to reach out and support other children at the hospital. To get more information about donating, visit Max's fundraising page.

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