Stories about: Dr. Amir Taghinia

‘Finally who I should be’: Meet Zack

Following phalloplasty, Zack's transition is complete.
Zack with part of his care team: Elizabeth Boskey, Dr. Amir Taghinia, Dr. Oren Ganor and Dr. David Diamond. (ALL PHOTOS: COURTESY OF ZACK HOGLE)

Zack Hogle woke up feeling groggy, sore and — at last — whole. He had just undergone more than 14 hours of surgery, but he was elated. “When I looked down at my body, I couldn’t stop crying,” he says. “I finally felt like myself.”

The surgery was the last step in what had been a lifelong journey. Growing up in a small town in Western Massachusetts, Zack, now 24, says he always knew he felt different. “I hated my body,” he remembers. “I thought, ‘I’m not the same as other kids and this isn’t okay.’” It wasn’t until he was in high school that he learned the word transgender and what that meant. The realization was a turning point.

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Families with Apert syndrome find similarities, not differences

Apert syndrome
Madilynn and her father Rocky

For some families in the waiting room on the day of the Apert syndrome clinic, it’s a reunion. For others, it’s a revelation. Coming to Boston Children’s Hospital from as far away as China, some have never met another child with Apert syndrome. Before long, parents and kids of all ages and ethnicities are taking group selfies as the younger children run around and play.

“These kids have the brightest smiles, they’re very resilient,” says Tambra Milot, mother of 3-year-old Madilynn.

Each year, the clinic sees about 50 children with Apert syndrome, a rare genetic disorder in which the skull, face, hands and feet develop abnormally. The clinic is held at least twice a month, bringing together the specialists each child needs to see. Today, families are also here for the weekend, to exchange information and learn about the latest research at Boston Children’s 2016 Apert Family Symposium.

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