A British man who is planning to sue the National Health Service (NHS) for giving the okay for him to have sex-change surgery while he was undergoing a battle with mental illness has spoken out publicly in an effort to let others know about his painful situation.
Ritchie Herron, a biological male from Newcastle, told the Daily Mail in an exclusive interview that the surgery he had in 2018 left him extremely damaged and that he knew immediately after the operation he had done something he should not have.
He first made his situation public last week when he about it under a pseudonym.
“‘Oh God, what have I done?’” Herron said he first thought as his anesthesia was wearing off.
Ritchie Herron (@TullipR) deserves our support. Not just as a young man treated appallingly by those he looked to for help, but also in his forthcoming court case seeking redress. The first step in such support is to read & share his story. https://t.co/fGqWtXyDPt
— M i c k H a n n i g a n (@HanniganCork) June 25, 2022
The Daily Mail adds:
The 35-year-old gay government worker said he battled depression and gender dysphoria before deciding a sex change operation was the answer. But he said the procedure, which he calls “‘the biggest mistake of my life,’” has left him infertile, incontinent, and in constant agony.
Herron said his ordeal with the NHS began a decade ago when he sought professional help for depression, which he attributes to being gay and living in the closet. He had recently learned about gender dysphoria in an internet chatroom, where others convinced him he was transgender.
He said he was referred to a psychologist and then to the Northern Region Gender Dysphoria Service, run by the NHS. In 2014, a clinic diagnosed him as “transsexual” after just two 30-minute appointments. A psychiatrist recommended medication to block testosterone production in preparation for a gender change.
Herron also noted that a relative who went with him to the clinic attempted to warn staff there that he was taking anti-depressants and that he was dealing with mental issues. However, the British medical system kept advancing him.
He changed his name to “Abby” and then began to identify as a woman while taking hormone treatments. In May 2018, he completed the sex-change procedure; his penis and testicles were removed and the surgeon constructed an artificial vagina.
“I didn’t even see the surgeon,” he said. “I was very much in the mindset of ‘I’m here now, there’s no stopping it even if I wanted to.’”
The Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust, which Herron is suing, denied that patients are sped through the process and not given proper counseling.
“‘Care plans are collaborative and tailored to each patient’s needs and goals, and treatment decisions are made following a thorough assessment in line with national recommendations,’” the agency told the Daily Mail.
Herron went on to say that he went public because he thinks there are many other so-called “de-transitioners” who regret being sped into surgery.
“This is an avalanche waiting to happen,” he said. “Transition is now being sold to people on a mass scale. It’s like PPI, but more sinister.”
“In a few years, I’m sure we’ll have law firms asking people if they transitioned and would like to claim compensation,” Herron added.