Army dad’s brave words after kissing kids goodbye and jumping in front of train

A war hero who survived being shot twice in Afghanistan kissed his kids goodbye before jumping in front of a train as he wrestled with PTSD from his time in the army.

But Perry Tatler miraculously survived the suicide attempt five months ago and has bravely spoken out from his hospital bed as he continues his recovery.

He has apologised to the witnesses of the traumatic event and pledged to turn his life around.

The 29-year-old can vividly recall the moment when he kissed his two children, aged two and one, goodbye for what he believed was for the last time after taking them to the park, reports Devon Live .

Perry then made the journey to Torquay railway station on a busy Saturday afternoon on April 7.

During the incident two air ambulances landed at nearby Torquay Rugby Club and train services through the station were suspended for more than two hours.

Peter was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after being shot twice while serving in Afghanistan.

While he has no recollection of those who were around him, he says he can clearly remember being in a ‘zone’ where he had lost all hope of overcoming the problems he had been unable to share with anyone else.

Despite throwing himself in front of a train travelling through the platform, he has lived to tell the tale and is encouraging others to seek help if they are feeling suicidal.

The dad-of-two remains in hospital five months on having sustained a broken back, shoulder and ribs, and a bleed on the brain. But he is walking again with the aid of crutches and a back brace, and it uncertain whether he will make a full recovery.

Perry said: “When you get that low you feel like you’ve got no other choice. That’s how the demons make you feel. It sounds really bad but I don’t regret doing it as it’s made me appreciate life more.

“But I do want to say sorry to the people who were there on the platform at the time, and the train driver. I didn’t want to put any harm onto anyone else mentally.

“I also want to say thank you to the emergency services who I have a new respect for, as I do all the nurses who have looked after me.”

For five years Perry served in the Army in the infantry, and two months into a tour serving in Afghanistan in 2011 he was shot in both legs during a routine patrol. He was medically discharged from the Army two years later and had been diagnosed with PTSD which he had been receiving support for.

However, after returning back to civilian life he believed he could deal with his issues without help.

Perry said: “The injuries I suffered in Afghanistan were more mental than physical because luckily both bullets went straight through my legs rather than hitting my main arteries or bone.

“I physically recovered from the injuries but about a year after the incident I didn’t want to go out or do anything.

“When I was discharged from the Army I thought I could deal with it myself.”

In 2017 Perry moved to Torquay with his ex-partner and held down a security job at Exeter Prison while his mental health deteriorated. After Christmas 2017 things started getting worse.

“I put a smile on my face and all my work colleagues thought I was happy but it was all false," he admitted. "Being a man I just bottled it up. I felt so low and helpless to the point I didn’t think I could take it anymore.

”The breaking point came that weekend in April when he took his children to the park for what he believed would be the last time he would ever see them again.

“I kissed them goodbye which was the hardest thing knowing what I was going to do,” he said.“I then remember everything such as walking down to the train station and walking to the end of the platform.

“I don’t remember seeing anyone but I have been told there were lots of people who saw me jump in front of the train, including children which I feel really bad about.

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“I didn’t want them seeing that kind of thing but I didn’t even realise they were there. It wouldn’t have stopped me though if I did because at that low point nothing else matters.

“My dad, who has passed away, must have been looking after me that day because I’m still here and I’m not missing any limbs.”

Following the incident, Perry was rushed to Plymouth’s Derriford Hospital where he stayed for a month until being transferred to a hospital in Brighton to be closer to his family. Currently he has to use crutches to walk and a brace around his body to support his back.

It hasn’t been confirmed when he will be discharged, but he plans to remain in Brighton where he will rebuild his life again with the continued support of ex-military services and charities.

Making a direct appeal to other young men to talk about how they are feeling and to seek help that is out there, Perry said: “There is a way through the dark patches, and there is help out there if you try to find it.“I would also encourage people to ask people if they’re okay.”

Now able to look ahead to the future, he added: "I hope to make a full recovery and to be the best dad to my to beautiful children."

Whatever you’re going through, the Samaritans are there to listen any time, free from any phone on 116 123.

They are there round the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

For more information on how they can help, visit their website here .

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