Man may 'never walk again' after breaking neck on waterslide
A man may never walk again after breaking his neck in two places on a waterslide in Spain, the Mirror reports.
It is feared that the horrific accident - which occurred while he was going down a waterslide at Aqualandia in Benidorm - may have paralysed David Briffaut, 23, for life.
The young holidaymaker from Essex snapped two vertebrae in his neck when he slid down head-first on a board and into the water.
Briffaut, who was abroad with his girlfriend, Penny Bristow, was immediately taken to hospital and placed in intensive care.
A JustGiving page has since been set up for Briffaut in the hope of raising funds for him after he suffered "suffered catastrophic injuries to his spinal cord".
"On Monday 8th July 2019 David Briffaut, 23 years old, was enjoying a holiday in Jávea on the Costa Blanca Spain with his girlfriend Penny and another young couple," the description on the crowdfunding page reads.
"A couple of days before they were due to fly home to Essex the four decided to travel down the coast to Benidorm and visit the Aqualandia Waterpark. What began as a fun day out ended in tragedy when David suffered his horrific injuries coming down a waterslide.
David is currently on life support in Hospital in Alicante where he is expected to undergo more surgery, and once he is considered stable enough arrangements will be made to fly him home to the UK by Air Ambulance."
Speaking to the Daily Mail, David's mother Lorraine said: "We are living in every parents' nightmare. Our son went on holiday with his girlfriend and we have been told he might never walk again. All we can do now is pray that he can recover.
"He is sedated but is aware of what has happened to him. David is getting fantastic care at the hospital but we want to get him home to England as soon as he can be moved. We are in the hands of the doctors and just have to wait and see."
"He is getting excellent care but would like to bring him home as soon as possible. All we can do is pray and hope that there is some recovery. We have been told David cannot feel anything from the chest down. Sometimes these are injuries from which the body does recover and that is what we can hope for."
A spokesman for Aqualandia has since told the Daily Mail that it is "simply false" to conclude that the ride is inherently unsafe from these recent events.
He explained that before the park is opened each season, an external company makes an "exhaustive review" of all the slides. Additionally, the park's staff conduct a daily check each morning.
"Moreover, we have video footage which shows Mr Briffaut didn't follow the guidelines for Splash," the spokesman said. "Aqualandia has a long, 34-year history and safety is our top priority. Our rules and recommendations are clearly displayed all the park and must be adhered to by our visitors."