Brit On Life Support After Injuring Spinal Cord On Waterslide In Benidorm
A holidaymaker in Alicante has suffered 'catastophic injuries' to his spinal cord after coming down a waterslide at a waterpark.
David Briffaut, 23, was on holiday in Jávea on the Costa Blanca in Spain with his girlfriend, Penny Bristow, and another young couple.
On Monday 8 July, just a couple of days before they were due to fly home to Essex, they decided to travel down the coast to Benidorm to visit Aqualandia Waterpark.
According to a JustGiving page that has been set up for David, their fun day 'ended in tragedy' when David suffered his injuries while 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," the JustGiving page says.
"Our thoughts and our prayers are with David and his family but we want to do so much more. These catastrophic injuries will mean that David will need life-long care. His life has changed and so has the lives of those closest to him. His parent's home will need to be remodelled for disability access, specialised treatment and new treatments will need to be explored and of course so many other unforeseen expenses covered.
"In short we want to do everything within our capabilities to raise as much money as possible to enable David to get the best possible care and better his life in whatever way we can. "
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.
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"He is sedated but is aware 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."
She added: "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, which bills itself as 'a water park for adrenaline junkies' told the Daily Mail that it is 'simply false' to suggest the ride is unsafe.
The spokesman said that before opening the park each season, an external company makes an exhaustive review of all the slides, and that park staff also check them every 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 out top priority. Our rules and recommendations are clearly displayed all the park and must be adhered to by our visitors."
However, David's family say this account from the park said this is not true.
David's uncle, Mark Pooley, said in a statement: "We refute the park's version of events. You can see from the video that David used the ride in the normal manner like other holiday-makers pictured on the park's own website. Any suggestion that the family have indicated otherwise is false."
Featured Image Credit: Aqualandia Waterpark