A YOUNG man is fighting for his life following a horrific accident at a Spanish water park.
Keen golfer David Briffaut, 23, is currently living on a life support machine in a Spanish hospital after suffering catastrophic injuries after going to a water slide at the Aqualandia tourist attraction in Benidorm.
Mr Briffaut, from Benfleet, who works as a green-keeper at Boyce Hill Golf Club, south Benfleet, was with his girlfriend Penny Bristow, 22, when tragedy struck on July 8.
He lost consciousness after hitting the water at the bottom of the Splash water slide.
David's parents Lorraine, a teacher, and Stephane, a construction worker, were at his bedside after flying to Spain.
He faces major surgery to fix two broken vertebrae in his neck and it is feared he will be left paraplegic.
Mr Briffaut's Uncle Mark Pooley, 53, also from Benfleet, said: "This is every family's worst nightmare. Is a wonderful young man, who was enjoying an innocent day out with his girlfriend. We are praying for a miracle, but we have been told that the injuries are very traumatic. "We can not understand how this can happen at family tourist destination. David was behaving in the normal way, and he had not been drinking. We believe there should be a full investigation into the circumstances. "
Holiday photographs released by the family show the couple together in carefree poses in the days leading up to the tragedy.
The young couple had been staying with friends and were celebrating the fact that Miss Bristow had recently completed a degree in travel and tourism. The couple have been dating for six years. The British Consulate in Alicante has been providing assistance to the family.
Mr Pooley added: "The family would like to thank the consulate for its magnificent support over the last few days. We are hoping that David will pay for him to be flown home, but after that he faces a very uncertain future. He has undergone surgery and is partially conscious, but in a great deal of bread. We have been told he may need more surgery later this week. "
In the meantime, David's loved ones and friends have opened at JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/davidbriffaut to help with the costs of his long-term care.