PRESS RELEASE: NOV 2020
New ambassador for leading hospital group will draw on her own experience to advise transgender patients
With scrutiny from family, friends and society, empathy and understanding can go a long way for someone about to undergo truly life-changing surgery.
Ella-Morgan Clark, a patient advisor for Transform Hospital Group, is all too aware of this, having been firmly on both sides of the scenario.
Ella-Morgan, 27 from Bristol, underwent gender reassignment surgery at 21 and has spent years navigating her own, and other people’s, feelings about her gender and appearance.
Now, she will be offering much-needed support and guidance to individuals in the same position, as an ambassador for Transform’s gender identity offering, Identité.
Ella-Morgan said: “I’ve worked with Transform Hospital Group for almost two years and in that time I’ve been supporting patients through a range of treatments, from breast reductions to rhinoplasty. I absolutely love what I do and it’s a pleasure to advise and support all of my patients, no matter what treatment they are undergoing. But this new role focusing on gender identity is very close to my heart – I feel like the stars have aligned.”
Ella-Morgan knew at a very young age that she was different but didn’t come to realise that she identified as a female until several years later.
She explains: “I was around 12 and at school when we had sex education and the phrase ‘transgender’ was mentioned in passing. It was a lightbulb moment for me. I did some research and the more I learned, the more I understood that it applied to me – I knew I was meant to be female.
“But I realised this was only the beginning of a long journey through my teens and I started hiding who I was from those around me and trying to figure out how to come to terms with and act on my realisation.”
It wasn’t until she was 18 that Ella-Morgan came out to her family. Something she describes as “very painful and difficult”.
She said: “There was a long period of struggle before they finally accepted who I am and what I wanted. I’m very lucky that I now have the support of my immediate family – in fact my dad is my biggest champion and my nan, who I live with, is my best friend.
“It sounds odd but my surgeries – the physical side of my transition – were in a way easier than the psychological battle. That’s something I’m very aware of with trans patients.”
Ella-Morgan underwent her reassignment surgery through the NHS, precluded by a long period of counselling, hormone therapy and psychological assessment. She had a breast augmentation and later underwent facial procedures and laser hair removal with Transform Hospital Group, before finding out about a patient advisor role there.
Ella-Morgan said: “I had several procedures with Transform Hospital Group and was beginning to feel more comfortable in my skin and in my body. I had just come out as transgender on Instagram, which was a huge step for me, and that’s when I found out about the job by coincidence, and applied – I was thrilled to get it and relished my training.
“Since then my confidence has grown and I’ve been able to help patients to boost their own confidence, which is so important to me.
“I think it’s crucial that gender reassignment and other related procedures become more accessible. There is less funding and longer waiting lists on the NHS each year, and there are few private providers who specialise in trans treatments, so it’s encouraging to see companies like Transform Hospital Group doing this – especially when they are able to offer more affordable ways to pay for treatments that might otherwise feel out of reach. Knowing what you need to do to live the life you were born for, but not being able to access or afford the procedures, must be crushing. The positive impact that having access to treatment can have on mental health and wellbeing can’t be underestimated.”
Ella-Morgan’s ambassadorial role with Transform Hospital Group involves raising awareness, understanding and acceptance of transgenderism, as well as liaising direct with patients.
She concluded: “Coming out on Instagram was a landmark moment for me. Many transgender people want to keep their journey private, which I absolutely understand and respect – but I’m proud to be able to help change the way the world views trans people. I hope I can help by telling my story – after all, I have been there – I have lived it.”
Transform Hospital Group understands that many transgender and non-binary patients are unable to access the quality care that they deserve. By launching Identité, Transform Hospital Group’s goal is to improve the confidence, health and overall wellbeing of its transgender and non-binary patients through providing them with specialist care.
While they have already helped many patients, they are dedicated to going further by investing in the latest research and innovation technologies so that they can offer more specialist procedures and treatments than ever before. Their range of non-surgical options, including laser hair removal, dermal fillers and body contouring, and a variety of surgical procedures, from gender affirmation surgery to speech modification, will be available very soon.
For further information visit www.transforminglives.co.uk