Until New Years Day she was anonymous to the world. Today Ashley X is the centre of a medical controversy. Ashley is sterilized and frozen in time, forever to remain a child.
She was only 6 years old when her parents instructed the doctors to remove her uterus, appendix and still-forming breasts and then treat her with high doses of estrogen to stunt her growth.
AdvertisementDaughter of two professionals in the Seattle area, Ashley is severely paralysed with a brain impairment known as static encephalopathy. She has restricted communication and movement abilities. Her mother used a wheelchair to transport her to doctors' appointments.
Ashley never had much hope of a normal life.
In their paper for the October issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine Ashley's doctors, Douglas Diekema and Daniel Gunther wrote that the treatment is revolutionary and removed major obstacles to family care.
The paper has evoked overwhelming support though there are a few critics.
Mrs Thorpe persists that she had received "overwhelming support" for her case from families with children with disabilities as well as from disabled people.
A Mid Essex Hospital NHS Trust spokeswoman said: "Surgery in each case is decided on an individual basis. "This applies to the case of Ashley also.
"Due to patient confidentiality we are not able to give anymore details."
Mrs Thorpe said, "We have demonstrated that there is a real need for Ashley to have this necessary evil taken away,"
Ashley will never grow up! She will be the little girl until she dies!