A VETERAN with PTSD has been presented with an oil painting of his children after his name was pulled out of a Help for Heroes prize draw.

Karl Hopkins, from Stockton, received the original painting as a Father's Day gift after entering the prize draw at Help for Heroes recovery centre Phoenix House, in Catterick Garrison.

Help for Heroes had been approached by amateur artist Edward Cheung, keen to use his recently discovered artistic talent to give happiness to a former member of the Armed Forces who had been wounded while serving his country.

Mr Hopkins had requested a portrait of his three children – Harry aged seven, Phoebe, four, and Noah, who is just five months old – by explaining how they help him cope with his PTSD.

He said: “Harry works hard at school, as he wants to make his dad proud. What Harry doesn’t know is that his dad couldn’t be prouder and loves his ‘best friend’ more than he will ever know. Harry doesn’t realise that, along with his little sister and baby brother Noah, if it wasn’t for them, daddy wouldn’t be here today. Daddy has had a lot of downs with regards to his PTSD, but his three ‘rocks’ pull him through.”

On receiving the painting he added: “I like it. It’s unique! I have a wall full of pictures of the children and the painting will take pride of place in the middle of them,” said the 34-year-old.

Mr Hopkins served five years with the Welsh Guards and was later diagnosed with PTSD related to time spent on active duty in Iraq. His subsequent struggles to deal with his mental illness and come to terms with having to leave the job he’d always wanted to do impacted his ability to continue his work and him having to leave a job in the civil service after six years.

But with support from Phoenix House, he is feeling much more positive about his future and has a new job with the MOD.