A TRANSGENDER former head boy of a £30,000-a-year boarding school died from a cocktail of drugs just two days before being approved for her dream sex change op, The Sun reports. Synestra De Courcy, 23, spiralled into drug addiction while battling for the NHS to fund full gender reassignment surgery.
In July her heart stopped following a 21-hour binge on vodka, cocaine and mephedrone, an inquest heard. Tragically just two days after her death she received a letter giving a date for her longed-for operation to complete her transformation. Formerly known as Alex, she was a star pupil at posh St Christopher’s school in Letchworth, Herts.
In 2013, Alex she became Synestra, and went on to study cosmetic science at the University of Arts in London. But her transgender journey was “fraught with problems”, according to her family, who say the NHS failed to take her attempts at gender change seriously. She was forced to prostitute herself to pay for hormone therapy independently, her mother said.
Synestra’s boyfriend Jonathan Palmer said at Poplar Coroners’ Court: “Where do I begin? She was one of the most beautiful people I have met. “She was wonderful, deep, warm, connected and highly-intelligent. “We had a beautiful relationship, it was really growing. We had made plans and she was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.”
The pair had been to transgender and drag club WayOut in central London on July 25 before moving to a house party in the early hours. Throughout the night Synestra took both cocaine and mephedrone – also known as M-Cat or miaow miaow – and drank neat vodka, the inquest heard. Mr Palmer said he was “out of it” and around midday the couple went to crash at a friend’s flat in East London.
But shortly before 7pm Synestra was found unconscious and with no pulse. “We had been out a long time. She didn’t look that bad,” Mr Palmer said. “I went to check on her and realised something was deeply wrong. I checked her pulse and breathing and there was neither. “I knew she had taken something, but I didn’t witness it.”
He added: “Friday had been an absolutely lovely evening. It was one of the best we ever had.” The inquest heard Synestra had been treated for anxiety and GBL dependency in the months leading up to her death. A fatal cardiac arrhythmia could easily have been caused by a combination of cocaine and mephedrone found in her body, according to a toxicologist’s report.
Senior coroner Mary Hassell said: “It is likely she died from a mephedrone and cocaine toxicity. “It is not necessarily about the amounts of the drug but the effects on the heart. “It is so cardiotoxic just taking it. There is no specific level. Just taking it can stop the heart suddenly.” She recorded a verdict of drug related death, adding: “I can’t say exactly how she died without a doubt, but it is drug related.”
Outside court, Synestra’s mother Amanda, an independent finance broker, said the NHS was partly to blame for her daughter’s death. She said: “I think part of her depression and Synestra’s struggle was the effect of trying to get the GPs to take her seriously and to refer her. “There is definitely discrimination in the NHS against transgenderism.
“I know there is work being done by politicians to change this, and transgenderism is being looked at as an issue.” She said Synestra became hooked on drugs because she was anxious and depressed from her struggle to get a full sex change. Amanda said: “She and Jonathan were just great together and were planning a future, so we all know that she was not in any way considering suicide.
“And having been clean from the drugs for a while and having come off of them successfully, probably her tolerance levels were weakened, and this might have been an accident waiting to happen.