A St Helier Hospital patient who has a condition which affects his kidney functioning has received not one, but two gifts from his own parents.

Ben Abbott’s mum donated a kidney to him after he suffered organ failure in 2010, however, it stopped working last year.

But then his dad flew in to the UK all the way from Canada to donate one to his son through a kidney sharing scheme.

This initiative enables donors and recipients who are incompatible matches – for reasons such as blood type – to register in a national programme.

They are then matched with people who are suited to them before they receive a transplant.

Mr Abbott, from East Grinstead in Sussex, signed up to the kidney sharing scheme and received his second from another donor as a result.

The 27-year-old said: “I am very pleased that I can live a normal life with my condition - thanks to this transplant - without the need for dialysis.

“I can do pretty much anything anyone else can do, as long as I keep myself healthy and hydrated – hence why I have joined the gym and play football regularly!

“I am a very positive person – I get that from my mum – so I will never let something like this get in the way of me living a normal, happy life.

“Perhaps some people might not see things the same way as me, as everyone is different, but I think staying positive is the key to keeping me healthy, so I would advise anyone living with a difficult medical condition to not let it get to them.

“Life can be hard sometimes, but with a positive outlook, supportive friends and family and a fantastic medical team, we can come out the other side fighting.”

The UK Living Kidney Sharing Scheme (UKLKSS), a collective term used to describe schemes like this, was started following the introduction of two key pieces of legislation.

These were the Human Tissue Act 2004 and the Human Tissue (Scotland) Act (2006).

The UKLKSS involves paired or pooled donations (PPD), where people register on a national scheme, and altruistic donor chains (ADCs) where people choose to donate anonymously.

Dr James Marsh is a joint director and consultant nephrologist at the Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust.

He said: “Ben’s story just goes to show how life changing the gift of organ donation can be, and how the share scheme is making such a difference to people across the UK.

“I’m sure there have been some difficult and worrying times along the way for Ben and his family, but I am so pleased that we have been able to support them and that they are all well now.

“I would like to remind those who are thinking of joining the organ donor register to discuss this decision with their families.

“It is important that your loved ones are aware of your decision to donate, so that should the time come, there is less of a chance of complications occurring and your wishes to donate can be fulfilled.”

To find out more about kidney sharing schemes in the UK, click here.