Mum-of-four, Meagan Hayes, has shared the details of the horrible moment she discovered just how unhappy her child was.
Speaking with 60 Minutes Meagan describes that at only four - Emma had tried to cut off her own penis.
'I found her in the room just with a knife and pants down, and she tried to cut off her own penis,' Mrs Hayes said.
'[She] wanted to cut it off. She just didn't want it there. She didn't think it belonged there. She only ended up with a little scratch.’
Four years later, Emma was diagnosed with gender dysphoria - a condition where a person’s gender identity doesn’t align with their biological sex.
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Since that moment her family have been working toward helping Emma transition.
They re-enrolled her in school as a female student, and allowed her to make decisions about clothes and make-up that better suit who she feels she is.
The next step is hormone treatment to prevent Emma having to go through the changes puberty will bring.
'She's been extremely worried about her Adam's apple. Obviously, nothing's changed whatsoever but, in her head, it's that obvious fear that, 'Oh, my god, I'm turning into a man!'' her mum says.
Whether Emma decides to undergo further interventions will be up to her.
Meagan and David have no doubts that they’re doing the right thing by their girl.
‘I couldn't see a future for Emma if we had forced her to be Ronan, I don't think she would be here,' David says.