Tuesday, April 28, 2009
'A year ago I was Ian, 16 stone with 14-inch biceps, a Captain in the Paras. Today I'm Jan, 11 stone and size 12
He was an elite soldier in the Paras and had served in every major conflict for the last 20 years - but Capt Ian Hamilton could not go on living as a man. Twelve months on and after painful surgery, the new Capt Hamilton tells HER extraordinary story...
It's the Airborne creed - "1000, 2000, 3000, check canopy!" - the litany that Paratroopers shout as they hurl themselves into the void, hoping and praying for the crack of the canopy as their parachute opens to bring them to Earth.
This time, as the chant left my lips, I wasn't jumping into a war zone with the world's finest fighting unit.
This time, I wasn't a Captain in the Parachute Regiment. This time, I wasn't part of the esprit of Britain's elite warriors.
I was alone, strapped to a hospital trolley halfway around the world in Thailand, and about to undergo 12 hours of irreversible surgery by a surgeon I had met barely 24 hours before. Surgery that would leave me, in the eyes of the world, a woman.
at 8:40 AM