A transsexual father desperate to become a woman nearly died after performing a DIY sex change.

Andy Cass was whisked to hospital after taking a Stanley knife to his own genitals.

Andy, now living happily as Kirsty, received emergency treatment after the botched sex op.

Doctors were forced to reattach the severed penis but the DIY sex change started Kirsty on a road to a new life.

She is now living as a woman and preparing to have gender reassignment surgery.

Kirsty said: "I was so desperately unhappy in my own skin that I would have done anything to change myself.

"I realise now how dangerous it was to try to give myself a DIY sex change I could have easily bled to death but it seemed like the obvious solution at the time."

Kirsty, 49, who works for Crawley Borough Council and lives in the town, recalled the day she attempted to cut off her penis.

She said: "I'd battled with gender issues since I was a little boy, and one night I had a few beers, looked down and thought that shouldn't be there.

"I went downstairs and got a Stanley knife out of my toolbox and just started hacking away. The pain was unbelievable.

"It only took a couple of minutes of cutting before I quickly sobered up and realised the danger I was in.

"I grabbed a hanky and tried to stem the bleeding and dialled 999.

"I don't remember what happened next, just waking up in hospital and realising my penis was still there.

"Doctors explained they had to reattach it but it had to be there to be used if I ever had proper gender reassignment surgery.

"I started living as a woman full time after that.

"I was worried what my work colleagues and friends would say, but they've all been really supportive."

Following the attempted sex change Kirsty was immediately referred to a psychiatrist, who diagnosed her with gender dysphoria.

She now takes a daily cocktail of tablets to suppress her male hormones.

She is set for more surgery next April after she has lived as Kirsty for two years as required by psychiatrists.