A FATHER flew 3,500 miles to give his son a special gift for the New Year - one of his own kidneys.

For Robert Pont his diagnosis of Chronic Kidney Disease came out of the blue.

At the age of 27, and having felt reasonably healthy, he was diagnosed with Stage Three of CKD in 2012.

The fishmonger, who has worked at Abingdon's Tesco store for 17 years, said: "I'd been noticing I was tired but thought it was a viral infection. In the end, I had to be rushed to hospital after waking up one night with chest pain and breathlessness."

His father Simon, revealed he was ready 'on day one' to offer his son a new kidney.

The 59-year-old said: "There is a moment where you have a doubt because it's someone cutting you open but that was quickly overridden, for me, by knowing I was going to be able to help."

He added: "Sometimes I was downright terrified but it is worth it to see how much better Robert is already."

Having moved to Ontario, Canada with his wife Laura in 2007, the retired police officer immediately flew to the UK for blood tests to find out if his kidney would be a good match when he found out about his son's diagnosis.

Tests at Oxford's Churchill Hospital revealed only an identical twin could have been a better match.

With a potential live donor waiting in the wings, the father-of-two was able to continue with his life and work for a further five years, his condition managed with medication and a special diet under the care of Oxford Kidney Unit.

However, last year his condition began to worsen, with his kidney function barely six or seven percent of what is considered normal.

Doctors decided a transplant was now the best option and the surgeries took place just days after Christmas on December 28 at the Churchill Hospital.

Mr Pont said: "Within 12 hours I was standing and I was discharged after two days. My body is having to adjust to being down an organ but I know I'll regain my former fitness.

"For Robert it's slightly different, he's feeling better than he has in years but because he is on anti-rejection medication that lowers his immune system and he's housebound for the next six weeks to avoid infection."

He added praise for how the medical teams in Oxford and London, Ontario worked to share information and ensure the process went smoothly, saying: ""This has been a spectacular example of two health systems working as one."

The father and son have now made it their mission to spread the word about live organ donation and the difference it can make to people's lives, setting up Facebook page The Gift of Life to chart the surgery and recovery.

Mr Pont, who is set to return to Canada next month, explained: "This way people can see the good and the bad days for both of us."

A spokesman for NHS Blood and Transplant said: "Donating an organ to someone in need is an incredibly generous thing to do. Living donor transplantation is highly successful, and family, friends and strangers can all donate."