A WOUNDED veteran has spoken of his pride at being selected to represent the UK at this year’s Invictus Games.

Paul Guest, 53, from Kirby-le-Soken, said he felt worthless following a medical discharge from the Navy and even attempted suicide.

But he has turned his life around after seeking support from military charity Help for Heroes and is now looking forward to being part the wheelchair basketball team heading to Toronto in September.

The former Navy serviceman, 53, toured Northern Ireland and many other countries as a mine warfare specialist.

His military career came to an end when injured on duty in 1987. He received injuries to his neck and spine which have resulted in partial deafness, a visibility impairment and incontinence meaning that Paul needs 24-hour care.

He was also diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

This left Paul suffering with bouts of depression, often locking himself away for long periods of time, and even attempting to take his own life.

Paul said: “I went from being a pillar of my community by serving my country and being the head of my family by supporting them all to feeling absolutely worthless in the blink of an eye.

“I couldn’t look after them any more as they were looking after me.

“On the fourth occasion when I tried to commit suicide, my wife literally dragged me off to get help.

“She contacted Help for Heroes, I became a Band of Brother and the rest is history.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

  • Paul Guest with Prince Harry, who founded the games

He added: “The Invictus Games has given me something to aim for. Pulling on the Invictus Games uniform is like pulling on my Navy uniform.

“I feel part of a team again, like I belong. I’m proud to be representing my country once again.

“Without Help for Heroes and without the goal of the Invictus Games I honestly wouldn’t be here today. I recently lost a good friend of mine called Michael. He sadly took his own life recently and I promised at his graveside I would never give up.”

Paul has been supported by Help for Heroes at the Chavasse VC House recovery centre in Colchester.

He added: ”They have helped me put together a recovery plan, sorted out my medication and introduced me to sports.”

Paul is supported by wife of 16 years Michelle, 39, and their children Oliver, 14, twins Jessica and Carmen, 13, Kenneth, eight, and Freddie, five.

Every morning Paul does the school run in his wheelchair then continues to push for 18 miles from Kirby-le-Soken to Clacton and back.

He added: “I want to show my children that anything is possible and belief that you can do it is all you need.”

“I’m so thankful for the Invictus Games as it’s bringing the whole family together.”