07 Aug Essex athlete gets helping hand on his Invictus Games journey
A wounded veteran from Essex has spoken of the difference Help for Heroes support has made to his life post-injury and his pride at being selected to represent the UK at this year’s Invictus Games.
Paul Guest, 53, from Kirby-le-Soken in Essex, said he felt worthless after medical discharge but after seeking support from military charity Help for Heroes, his life has turned around and he can look ahead to being part of the 90-strong UK team heading to Toronto in September this year.
More hopefuls than ever before trialled for this year’s Invictus Games being from 23 – 30 September with 306 wounded, injured and sick military personnel and veterans competing for one of just 90 places available on the UK team. Paul was successful in that rigorous selection process and is now training hard for the event through the H4H Sports Recovery programme.
The 53 year old, originally from Rochford, is a former serviceman who toured Northern Ireland and many other countries as a mine warfare specialist. With his father being in the Royal Artillery and his mother being in the Women’s Land Army, joining the Armed Forces was a natural step for Paul but his navy career came to an end in 1987 when injured whilst on activity duty.
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 to dress, bathe and carry out day-today tasks. 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.