A heartbroken Australian actor is grieving the loss of his young son who lost his battle with a rare type of brain tumour.
Eka Darville, best known for his starring roles in Power Rangers RPM and Marvel’s Jessica Jones and The Defenders, put his career on hold earlier this year after then nine-year-old Mana was diagnosed with aggressive glioneuronal brain cancer.
After being told there was little more doctors could do in Australia, Darville and his wife Lila moved their young family to America, where Mana underwent high-risk marathon surgery in April to remove as much as possible of the primary tumour.
Updates on Mana’s condition and recovery remained private until recently when Darville revealed his son was still fighting but the tumour was growing back ‘faster than ever’, as he urged fans to keep his son in their prayers.
Darville’s mother Malaika has now revealed in an heartbreaking video that her grandson Mana, who had since turned 10, died in the U.S. over the weekend.
Eka Darville’s son Mana (pictured) has lost his brave fight for life
‘I still wanted to come together in this prayer because he’s still always gonna be with us and he’s still with us,’ she said in a video on the Let’s Go Mana fundraising page.
‘You can imagine the amount of sadness and grief of Eka, Lila and Lila’s parents, his grandparents, myself, his little brothers.
‘But at the same time, there’s a lot of joy. There’s a lot of peace. There’s a lot of stillness in the house after such a long struggle for 463 days since the whole ordeal began. And now he’s free. Now he’s dancing in the light.’
‘We all see it, we feel it and I know that many of you, like myself, loved Mana eternally.’
The sad news sparked an outpouring of tributes from those following his journey.
Former Home and Away star and fellow Byron Bay local Isabella Lucas was among a host of high-profile stars to share condolences.
‘I grieve with you, honouring his life. I love you so much,’ she wrote.
Aussie actress Teresa Palmer added: ‘Sending immense love your way, friends.’
Actor Eka Darville (left) recently urged everyone to keep his son Mana (right) in their prayers
Eka Darville and wife Lila were told by Australian doctors in January there was little more they could do, so the couple sought treatment in the United States
Darville had only recently revealed Mana was still fighting, despite the latest setback.
There were plans to access additional treatments from Europe and Japan.
‘We’ve been on an absolute odyssey these last six months with highs and lows that have stretched our capacity to “human” beyond every limit we thought we had,’ he wrote.
‘We’ve witnessed real-life miracles as Mana went from not being able to walk, to doing ninja rolls off the side of the bed, rock climbing, swimming and not just getting out of the wheelchair but running unassisted!
‘The gut-punch news is that after months of stability and miraculous progress in his physical rehab, the tumour has clawed its way back and is growing faster then ever.
‘In the face of this newest challenge we are unwavering in our commitment to his complete healing and will accept nothing less.’
The family’s lives were turned upside down in July 2022 when Mana collapsed on a beach and suffered a seizure that left the right side of his body paralysed.
At the time, he was misdiagnosed with Focal Cortical Dysplasia, a brain abnormality that had supposedly been there since birth.
Mana (pictured early on his fight for life) died after the tumour returned and began to re-grow
For the next five months, Mana continued to suffer daily uncontrolled seizures and was eventually rushed to hospital again in January, where an MRI revealed two large tumours growing across the surface of his brain.
He underwent a marathon 14-hour operation in Australia but only 60 per cent of one tumor could be removed before Darville turned to overseas to find a cure for Mona.
Originally from Byron Bay in northern NSW, Darville is best known for his role as Malcolm Ducasse in Marvel’s Jessica Jones and The Defenders and as the Red Ranger Scott Truman in Power Rangers RPM and its sequel Samurai.
He has also featured in Spartacus, Terra Nova, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Empire, Her Smell and Tell Me a Story.
His latest role in Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is due to hit cinemas in 2024.
Eka Darville burst onto the scene in 2009 as Red Ranger Scott Truman in Power Rangers RPM
He also starred in Marvel’s Jessica Jones (pictured with David Tennant and Krysten Ritter)