Mighty Max! | 4-year-old boy born with congenital heart disease defies the odds

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — February is American Heart Month, and FOX23 honored the occasion by dressing up for National Wear Red Day.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., and it affects hearts young and old.

FOX23 caught up with a 4-year-old boy with an inspiring story.

In December 2021, FOX23 met a Tulsa mother after he car was stolen. Katie Thomas introduced us to her son Max.

“We never actually replaced that van,” she said.

Four-year-old Max was born with congenital heart disease. He’s had two open-heart surgeries — one when he was just 3-weeks-old — and five brain surgeries.

“So he has congenital heart disease, a very, very rare one called Shone’s Complex,” Thomas said. “He beats the odds everyday.”

Not long after FOX23 met Max, he crashed on the operating table in May 2022 and had to be revived.

“He is still in active heart failure,” Thomas explained. “He’ll still have to have at least one open heart surgery. He’s had two so far.”

Though the odds were against him, and doctors thought he wouldn’t make it, he is here today and thriving.

“He beats the odds everyday,” Thomas said. “He is walking and talking. Max is truly a miracle.”