A MAN who received a kidney from his a friend during an organ donation operation has said she has given him a future.

Paul Duncan, 30, had to put his life on hold after unexpected kidney failure left him at barely able to walk up his stairs at home.

Mr Duncan, who has cystic fibrosis, feared a transplant wouldn’t be possible, as the kidney failure reduced his lung function substantially, meaning there were increased risks involved in the surgery.

But he was saved when former girlfriend Rebecca Morrice agreed to go through the procedure, potentially saving his life.

He said: “I went from being fit and active, to struggling to get up the stairs to my flat and having no quality of life. There were questions over the transplant, because I might need a lung transplant later in life, and the deterioration in my lung function meant there were a lot of complications and risks. But I knew a kidney transplant was my only chance.

“When Rebecca was a match, I was concerned about her doing this huge thing for me. Through both worry for her, and also in case the risks involved in the surgery meant the kidney would be wasted.”

Mr Duncan, from Torphins, Aberdeenshire was diagnosed with IgA nephropathy in 2006 aged 18, and had to start dialysis in June 2016 when his kidney function rapidly declined – a period that he described as the worst of his life.

Struggling on dialysis and unsure whether a transplant would be possible, Paul had to give up work and ensure he kept himself as fit as possible to increase the chances of surgery successful if it went ahead.

Living kidney donation rates in Scotland are currently increasing year on year, with the number of living donors in Scotland rising from 86 in 2016/17 to 95 in 2017/18.

A healthy person can lead a completely normal life with one working kidney, and over the last ten years over 500 people in Scotland have become living kidney donors.

Mr Duncan added:“Rebecca saved my life and I can’t put into words what it is she’s done for me. Nothing I could ever do in the rest of my lifetime could repay her enough. She was so laid back through the whole process, nothing phased her at all which helped me through it. What she did for me, and my family, was quite simply amazing.”

Ms Morrice's from Aberdeen, works a field service engineer for an oil company. She said: “I wasn’t fully aware of how severe Paul’s condition was until I visited him in hospital. I knew I wanted to get tested from that moment on, and that never wavered.

"One of my great friends was in need, and I kept thinking what if it was one of my family. For that reason, it was a no brainer and probably one of the easiest decisions I ever made.

“There were a lot of tests and discussions around the fact that the surgery might not be successful for Paul. But I wanted to try, and if the kidney didn’t take then so be it.