My story too, to some extent. I arrived in Chonburi a few days after the camera crew had departed, and got to know her in the recovery period after her surgery.
All of us had a great time, and she had a lot of support from the other women who were patients at the clinic. We visited a number of places, such as a Chinese Temple, as I blogged about before.
There was a 29 year age difference, and some our experiences were different. I had no family there, but I didn't feel the need: I had all the support I needed from friends, even though I met them for the first time when I was over there. Also, my feelings at her age were nowhere near as strong. To me, being a girl in a boy body just wasn't that bad. Not compared with others who are paraplegic, or blind, or who have MS. I didn't even feel hard done by. I guess I had low expectations, a normal life was something others would have, but not me.
And now it's not quite normal, but close enough. And better than I ever could have imagined.
There were many similarities though. I too did very extensive research indeed in choosing a surgeon. And I too suffered the effects of hormone withdrawal - you have to discontinue weeks before surgery. Hence the acne that marred Lucy's face, and the distressing psychological effects of an instant menopause, something that can leave you feeling terribly vulnerable.
Last time I saw Lucy, she was concerned about her future life. Would she be able to get a job? What about a boyfriend? Would she always be "LUCY, TEEN TRANSSEXUAL!!"?
Today's headlines line tomorrow's birdcages. She's fine, according to last reports I have from her. After a year, she was no longer in the Public Eye, and although her past is on record and available on the net, it's no great drama. She's a good kid. Her complexion has cleared up, the menopausal symptoms ditto, and she looks stunning. And better than that, happy just to be herself.
Am I jealous? Of her appearance, a little. Of her future life, not really. Mine was more interesting, even if not as happy. And I have a child. I hope that soon medical technology will allow girls like Lucy to have a normal motherhood too. That's not an essential part of being a woman, not for everyone. It was for me though, and I got the quintessence of it, even if the details varied a bit from the norm.
It was good seeing Dr Suporn and the Angels of Chonburi again. They really are some of the best people on the planet.
Lucy in Thailand. I recommend anyone who wishes to understand the situation view this video.
Oh one last thing - the woman who talks to Lucy's Grandad is Liz. Her story is here.