Trans patient makes hundreds of paper stars to represent others receiving gender-affirming care in hospital

The trans patient made one star for every fellow patient during their two-week hospital stay. (@ioannisntanos/Instagram/Getty)

A trans patient has made hundreds of paper stars to represent others who also received gender-affirming care during their stay in a hospital in the UK. 

The patient made approximately 800 tiny stars in the colours of the Trans Pride Flag over their two weeks of recovery to represent every trans and non-binary patient under specialist Mr Ioannis Ntanos’ care.

The patient then gifted the jar of origami stars to the Manchester-based surgeon, where he shared the sweet gesture on Instagram on 31 January. He wrote: “This was created by a wonderful patient who spent their two weeks recovering (until their dressings were removed) folding one paper star for every patient I have served (~800). 

“It’s one of the most gorgeous things I have received in conception and execution.”

Beneath the sweet image, further patients praised the surgeon for changing their lives with the top surgery they underwent. “Thank you for allowing me to start living and not just surviving. There is nothing more valuable in the world to me than the opportunity I had to be your patient,” one person said. 

“You are truly talented and so very heartwarming in spirit, as are your colleagues. Thank you for allowing me to finally be me. I will never forget the freedom you have granted me.”

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Another person wrote: “Honestly, you’re one of the best surgeons in the UK for Trans health! Because you *genuinely* care about us as people, individuals. We aren’t just nameless and faceless to you! Thank you for everything you do!”

An August 2023 study found that top surgery improves life for the overwhelming majority of patients. 

The study from the University of Michigan published in the journal JAMA Surgery found that the median satisfaction rate among those surveyed was five out of five.

Regret was zero out of 100, meaning not a single patient involved in the study regretted their choice to have the surgery. None of the respondents reported undergoing reversal procedures.

Regret rates for gender-affirming surgeries are often overstated by right-wing, anti-LGBTQ+ groups in an attempt to justify restrictions on trans people’s care. These restrictions often extend to trans youth like the recent ban on gender-affirming care for minors in South Carolina despite no medical organisation offering gender-affirming surgeries to under-16s. Under-18s are generally permitted to undergo them only under exceptionally rare circumstances.