DEVOTED family members are keeping a bedside vigil for a much-loved man fighting for his life.
Barney Butwell, 25, is in an induced coma after suffering a serious injury to the back of his head.
Overwhelmed by the support from hundreds of friends and total strangers on Facebook, his Portsmouth family have spoken of their hopes he will pull through.
His sister Brooke, 21, told how doctors at Southampton General Hospital have said they can do little but wait to see what happens.
Speaking to The News she said: ‘He’s not progressing a lot but he’s not getting any worse, we’re hoping for him to pull through.
‘We’re taking one day at a time, we don’t know the outcome when he wakes up.
It’s just beautiful to know so many people care for himBarry Butwell
‘We don’t know if he’s going to pull through but positive thoughts and everyone praying seems to be working.’
Brooke, who works in computer sales, added: ‘He’s a proper geezer, he’s known by everyone.
‘He’s just a lovely boy, he’s got so many friends he goes to a party and everybody will love him, he’s the life and soul.
‘I love him, he’s my best friend not my brother, he’s just everything to our family.
‘I don’t know what we’d do without him.
‘It kills us all. If he wakes up we say we’ll go on a massive family holiday.’
Barney’s dad Barry, 55, of Ophir Road, North End, added: ‘It’s back and forward, it’s sitting and watching Barney hoping he makes some sort of recovery.’
He added: ‘It’s a knife-edge, it’s touch and go whether he survives.
‘At the end of the day he’s fighting and he’s got hundreds of people on his side.
‘It’s just beautiful to know so many people care for him.’
Doctors have told the family, including his mum Debra McInnes not to speak or touch Barney much while he is in the coma.
But they have been able to briefly hold his hand when they go in to see him and tell him they love him.
A fundraising page set up to raise £3,500 for Barney, a roofer, reached £2,795 in less than 24 hours.
Brooke’s boyfriend Sean Harris, 29, of Denvilles, added: ‘The amount of support from friends and family even people who aren’t friends or family is unbelievable.
‘We’re really overwhelmed by it, it’s amazing.’
n A 21-year-old woman was arrested on April 3 on suspicion of attempted murder and bailed until June 22 after Barney was taken to hospital in the early hours of April 2 from an address in Timpson Road, Fratton.