Sat. Apr 20th, 2024
alert-–-transgender-woman-who-flew-to-turkey-for-8,000-gender-reassignment-surgery-suffered-serious-internal-injuries-after-being-made-to-walk-two-miles-with-a-dilator-inside-her-following-her-vaginoplastyAlert – Transgender woman who flew to Turkey for £8,000 gender reassignment surgery suffered serious internal injuries after being made to walk two miles with a dilator inside her following her vaginoplasty

A trans woman who flew to Turkey for gender reassignment surgery to beat an eight-year NHS waiting list feared she’d die following complications as she flew home.

Shona Thompson, 41, had waited 30 years to switch gender after realising as a schoolboy that she felt trapped in her male body.

She flew to Izmir for the £8,000 operation, which was successful, but suffered internal injuries on the journey home when airport assistance she had booked in advance did not arrive.

Shona should have been taken to the plane in a wheelchair after being driven to Izmir airport in an ambulance, but instead had to walk while carrying her suitcase.

The injuries she sustained resulted in her being rushed into an NHS hospital in her home town of Blackpool, Lancs, where she waited 12 hours in a wheelchair to be seen in A&E.

Mum of two Shona has told how she had to walk around two miles with her suitcase while a dilator – a silicone device used to prevent shrinkage after vaginoplasty – was still in place.

During her journey from Izmir to Manchester, via Istanbul, she suffered serious internal injuries and claims the treatment she received in Blackpool Victoria Hospital meant she had to return to Izmir for corrective surgery.

Shona Thompson (pictured), 41, had waited 30 years to switch gender after realising as a schoolboy that she felt trapped in her male body

Shona Thompson (pictured), 41, had waited 30 years to switch gender after realising as a schoolboy that she felt trapped in her male body

She flew to Izmir for the £8,000 operation, which was successful, but suffered internal injuries on the journey home when airport assistance she had booked in advance did not arrive

She flew to Izmir for the £8,000 operation, which was successful, but suffered internal injuries on the journey home when airport assistance she had booked in advance did not arrive

Despite the two month ordeal following her surgery, Shona says she is now looking forward to her new life as a woman which she has dreamt of since she was an 11-year-old boy.

She and wife Katy, 37, say their two children aged 11 and six are adapting well to the new family circumstances and are relieved to have her home safe.

Shona flew out to Ekol Hastanesi in Izmir on February 2nd for an £8,000 sex swap operation, which was carried out successfully.

READ MORE: Trans woman, 24, seeking gender-affirming op faces ‘horrible’ choice of waiting six years for NHS treatment or paying £18,000 to ‘finally have the body I want’ 

It was only when returning home on February 15th that matters went badly wrong.

Shona said: ‘The operation in Izmir was a success and I’m so glad I went there. There is a wait of between eight and 10 years to have gender reassignment on the NHS as there are only three specialist centres. For me going abroad was the only option but it was the journey home where the problems began.

‘I had booked wheelchair support through the airline, Pegasus, to get me through the airports at Izmir, then the transfer at Istanbul and finally through Manchester.

‘It did not arrive so I had to walk through each of the airports with my suitcase, which was a long way. In Manchester alone I walked around three quarters of a mile.

‘By the time I reached Manchester Airport railway station to get my ticket to Blackpool I was in so much pain and distress that the railway staff helped me on and off the train.

‘Walking all that distance with my dilator inside me caused a lot of damage and injury and when I arrived home to Katy I was in a terrible state, she had to help me out of the taxi.

‘For three nights I had to sleep on the sofa, I was in too much pain to get to bed and needed assistance from Katy to do everything.’

Her temperature spiked and she was admitted to Blackpool Victoria Hospital on February 18th as an emergency case.

Shona said: ‘It was a nightmare from beginning to end, there were times in there when I thought I might die.

READ MORE: One in six transgender people are suffering from long-term mental health problems and are more likely to be depressed, study claims 

‘I waited for around 12 hours in a wheelchair to be seen in A and E and then they couldn’t decide whether I should be seen by the urology department or gynaecology, they seemed to have no idea what to do.

‘I was misgendered throughout by the staff who referred to me as he and him, which was so wrong and disrespectful.

‘When an operation was carried out to debride the infected wound, too much tissue was removed and caused a new wound which I knew would need corrective surgery.

‘I was also administered a drug I was allergic to which caused seizures. It was a horrific experience.’

Shona’s surgeon in Turkey said she needed to urgently fly back to Izmir for corrective surgery and agreed to do the surgery free of charge after hearing of her ordeal in Blackpool.

However, after spending almost £800 on flights for the first op, she was struggling to find the £300 air fare.

Shona said: ‘I’d documented everything I’d been through on TikTok and my followers came to the rescue.

‘I can never thank them enough for raising the money for my fare back to Turkey, it was amazing to know they cared so much.’

After successful corrective surgery and lengthy recuperation in Izmir, Shona has now returned to Katy and the children in Blackpool.

She said: ‘I have been through so much in the past two months, it has been an absolute nightmare. But finally I’m the person I have always wanted to be and I can look to the future.

‘I have a wonderful and supportive wife who has stood by me through all this.

Despite the two month ordeal following her surgery, Shona says she is now looking forward to her new life as a woman which she has dreamt of since she was an 11-year-old boy

Despite the two month ordeal following her surgery, Shona says she is now looking forward to her new life as a woman which she has dreamt of since she was an 11-year-old boy

‘I came out to Katy in 2020 and she was really wonderful. She always knew there was something different about me from the way I was as a man.

‘I’d pick out clothes for her in shops and she would laugh and joke: ‘Are you sure you’re not gay?’

‘When I finally told her that I had known almost my whole life that I wanted to be female she understood and we’re very happy in our marriage as women. We’re looking forward to the future together as a family.

‘The first person I ever confided in about it was my grandmother when I was 11. I wanted to be a girl and couldn’t bear to look at my body in the mirror.

‘I was always into dolls and girls sports and girl bands and would shave off my body hair because it felt wrong and unnatural to have it.

‘This is the journey I have been on for so long and I’m so pleased to finally be here, even though the journey has been very difficult at times.’

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: ‘Our patient relations team is in contact with Shona and while those conversations are taking place it would be inappropriate to comment.’

Pegasus Airlines have been contacted for comment.