Stevenage parents denied access to transgender daughter’s medical records after sudden death

PUBLISHED: 07:01 17 July 2018

Synestra De Courcy

Synestra De Courcy

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The parents of a transgender woman are desperate to understand more about their child’s sudden death, but have been denied access to her medical records.

Synestra De Courcy was deeply unhappy, trapped inside the wrong body. Picture courtesy of Amanda De Courcy.Synestra De Courcy was deeply unhappy, trapped inside the wrong body. Picture courtesy of Amanda De Courcy.

Synestra De Courcy, who lived in Stevenage, was born a boy – Alex – and died days before she was due to receive confirmation of the hormone treatment she needed to begin full gender reassignment.

The former head boy of Letchworth’s St Christopher School had previously been denied the treatment, prostituting herself to pay privately for the hormones and spiralling into the depths of despair, trapped inside a body she didn’t feel was hers.

She was just 23 when she died from cocaine and mephedrone toxicity in July 2015.

Her parents, Amanda and John, live in Stevenage’s Woodfield Road and say Synestra was severely depressed and may still be alive today if she had received the referral letter sooner.

John and Amanda De Courcy are desperate to access Synestra's medical records. Picture courtesy of Amanda De Courcy.John and Amanda De Courcy are desperate to access Synestra's medical records. Picture courtesy of Amanda De Courcy.

In a bid to help others in a similar situation, they are desperate to look at Synestra’s medical records to understand why she was denied treatment for so long.

Mrs De Courcy said: “First my husband applied for her records, then I did, only to both be declined.

“There is a real lack of understanding in the NHS when it comes to people who are transgender.

“Releasing Synestra’s medical records would show where the system fell down and, if this was addressed, it would help others.

“It’s so difficult for transgender people to get through the system and many people in this situation have drug or alcohol issues. The suicide rate is also very high in the transgender community.

“It’s not about exposing any wrongdoing by the NHS, it’s about helping others.

“It’s a disgrace we can’t access Synestra’s records – we need transparency from the NHS. They did let Synestra down.”

In a letter to Mrs De Courcy, Primary Care Support England – which supports GP services – said: “We regret to advise we are unable to provide you with a copy of the records. It was determined the records could not be released because the applicant is not the deceased patient’s personal representative and does not have a claim arising following the patient’s death.”

The Comet contacted PCSE but did not receive a response.

A book about Synestra, Transition Denied, by Letchworth author Jane Fae is available from Amazon or David’s Bookshop on Letchworth’s Eastcheap.

Mrs De Courcy is also organising a trans awareness black tie event in her daughter’s memory. Businesses interested in sponsoring the event – to be held at Hitchin Priory on September 27 – and those who want tickets should email amanda@adcfinancial.co.uk or call 07921 004132 to find out more.

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