A trans woman who said she had been left “half-man and half-woman” after her primary care trust refused to pay for her breast enlargement has been granted legal aid to fight her case.

Miranda Lee, 40, began living as a woman two years ago and had her genital surgery and other treatments on the NHS last year, totalling £60,000.

South East Essex Primary Care Trust says it will not pay for a £8,000 breast operation because it only funds surgery for women who have suffered breast cancer.

Ms Lee has said she will fight her case all the way to the High Court as well as seeking compensation if the trust does not fund the surgery.

She said: “They were aware of the high number of suicides among people who haven’t had their gender operations completed, but they still turned me down. I am not going to stop until I have my op.”

Ms Lee added that she had lost “almost everything” in her battle to live as a woman, having suffered violence, lost jobs and been shunned by family members.

NHS South East Essex said it could not comment on individual cases but had an appeals process in place for patients unhappy with treatment decisions.