THE family of a man left paralysed after a holiday waterslide accident say they are “euphoric” he is showing signs of progress.

David Briffaut, 23, from Benfleet, suffered two breaks to his spine when he went down a slide at Aqualandia Waterpark in Benidorm, Spain, on July 8.

His family have revealed the golf club greenkeeper has been able to speak to his family for the first time since the accident and is now able to move his upper body though he currently remains paralysed from the waist down.

His uncle Mark Pooley said: “David is in a neuro critical care unit and having assessments to find out the extent of his spinal injuries.

“They are looking to move him to a spinal care and rehabilitation unit as soon as possible. He’s much more stable. With the aid of a little valve in his tracheostomy he can now speak a little bit. He’s getting stronger day by day.”

Despite his progress, Mr Briffaut remains on life support. Mr Pooley said: “He still not quite out of the woods, and is still being ventilated but as soon as he is strong enough to breath on his own we can move on to the next stage of eating through a tube.

“He has a little movement in his shoulders and arms.”

Mr Pooley revealed the toll the accident had taken on the family and girlfriend Penny Bristow, 22, who have been offered counselling.

He said: “We feel euphoric at the small blessings we have but it has impacted all our lives. Social services have been fantastic in leading us through what we need to do to get David’s life back on track.

"We’ve raised £80,000 so far which is fantastic and absolutely brilliant but in reality we don’t even really know how much we will need - but he’ll need a wet room and wheelchair access.

“Everyone has been wonderful and we are very grateful. It’s been very humbling.”

The Half Crown, High Street, Benfleet, is hosting a comedy night on Friday at 8pm, to raise money for Mr Briffaut, who was a regular, with comedian Jason Simmons.