A FORMER Army captain who has suffered with her mental health and chronic fatigue has returned home with a hat-trick of medals from an international sports competition.

The US Warrior Games, this year based in Tampa, Florida, saw wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans from the UK, USA, Canada and Australia taking part in a wide range of adaptive sports.

Emma Templeton, 39, from Richmond, won gold, silver and bronze at the games, and said taking part has given her recovery a huge boost.

She credits her friends and staff at Help for Heroes Phoenix House Recovery Centre in Catterick Garrison for her success.

She said: "It was such a fantastic experience. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming, and it felt amazing to be part of a big team and walk around in our kit.

"I took my gold in power lifting, I was blown away when it was confirmed I had the gold medal. I later got a bronze in swimming, 50m freestyle, and a silver medal in 100m freestyle.

"Even if I hadn't come back with any medals, the whole experience has shown that I am more capable of things than I thought. I hadn't been on a plane for years, hadn't trained so hard in years, and was well out of my comfort zone but I loved it."

Ms Templeton is now set to try out for the UK's Invictus Games in three weeks, and next month will head to the Highland Games.

She was a Captain in the 5 Armoured Medical Regt when she was medically retired two years ago due to mental health problems related to her time spent in Afghanistan with Operation Herrick 17.

Another member of the team, Captain Ben McComb, of the Royal Artillery, based at Catterick Garrison, returned with a gold medal in swimming 50m backstroke.

His role within the Army had to change after damage to the nerves in his legs back in 2012 became progressively worse and prevented him carrying out his former role of troop commander.

He said: "The Warrior Games was quite simply one of the best experiences of my life so far.

"It enabled me to experience sport without the limitations of my injuries interfering. I now look forward to seeking further opportunities within adaptive sports opposed to shying away from it - life changing."

If you are serving or a veteran and are in need of support visit helpforheroes.org.uk.