A BRAVE dad has shared his heartbreaking story of self-harm in a bid to offer hope to others who are struggling to cope with dark times.

Matt Lloyd, from Johnstone, suffered more than 60% full-body burns in a self-inflicted incident after a relationship breakdown left him at his lowest ebb.

He has now praised medical staff who saved his life and is keen to spread the message that, no matter how difficult life can become, things can get better.

“You can survive it,” said 54-year-old Matt. “I want to share my story and let people know that everything will be okay.”

It was in August last year that Matt suffered life-threatening injuries.

He woke up in the Intensive Care Unit at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, where he would stay for six weeks before being transferred to the hospital’s burns unit.

Matt recalls speaking to his two sons on the phone from hospital as he began his recovery.

The Gazette:

He said: “I was guilty about what I had put my family through and explaining to my children and family and telling them I didn’t do it because I didn’t love them, I just didn’t love myself at that time.”

Originally from West Bromwich, Matt moved north 12 years ago to be with his new partner.

Before his injuries, he was a manager for Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation, setting up depots and managing three charity shops.

Doctors operated as quickly as possible to save his life and prevent further damage to his muscles.

After being admitted to the burns unit, he underwent another four operations and extensive rehabilitation.

Matt was discharged in October, although his treatment continues, and he hopes to be able to work as a charity volunteer.

He is full of praise for the entire NHS team who looked after him, from porters and domestics to the surgeons who saved his life, and said he has a special place in his heart for the nursing team.

“I thank the people who looked after me every day,” he added. “They saved me and gave me back to my sons.

“The nurses were fantastic. I really believe that, without their help, I wouldn’t be here.”

If you need support, contact your GP, call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org.