THE mother of a young man who needed life-saving surgery after falling from a balcony has revealed his unusual first word.

James Coltherd-Walls had to be placed in a coma after the accident in Cyprus last September. He was on holiday there with friends.

But he has been showing amazing signs of recovery since moving to a rehabilitation centre six weeks ago.

The 23-year-old electrician from Woodingdean has begun to regain weight, said his first words since waking and even taken a few steps.

But his mother Julie revealed his first word was not what she expected.

She said: “His old boss, Mark Coales, went to see him and the two of them had very similar tastes in music.

“So Mark said to James, ‘do you want some music?’ and he nodded.

“Mark was going to give him some options to choose from then James turned and said ‘Eminem’.

“So his first word was Eminem. Not Mum, Eminem.

“It is just nice to hear his voice again, he had been making noises but not actually spoken before that.”

She said when he had been given a tracheotomy earlier in his treatment she had worried he would never speak again.

Julie said: “James is a talker and the thought that he might not be able to talk again really bothered me.”

Since then he has regained several other words and made incredible progress.

Julie said: “He has got his personality back, he is cheeky and smiling and seems to remember things from before.

“I’m getting my James back.”

James moved to the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability in Putney about six weeks ago and Julie said the staff had been “incredible”.

She also said she was astounded by the resilience of her son.

Julie said: “He is unbelievable, he has improved so quickly.

“Even the ward manager said how well he is doing.

“They said he is getting back to being a young man again.

“The staff at Putney are amazing, he is definitely in the best place he possibly could be.

“What they have done for him is unbelievable.

“They are so friendly and supportive of him, of me and other family members as well.”

The site is a medical charity and Julie urged people to donate to the organisation so it could continue its work.

She said now the family is just looking to continue James’s recovery.

Julie said: “We are taking small steps, but right now they are all going in the right direction. Every day he is doing something new.”