AN ALLOA man was given a new lease of life after his dad flew over from the states to donate one of his organs.

Son Allan Watson is on the road to recovery after his kidneys shut down nearly a year ago.

His father Ian Watson was happy to put his life on the line to keep his son alive.

And following a successful kidney transplant operation, he is now encouraging others to do the same should the need ever arise.

Now acutely aware of how an organ can better the life of others, Ian is urging people to sign up to the NHS organ donor register and hailed plans for a shift toward an opt-out system in Scotland.

Around June last year Allan, a 31-year-old plumber and heating engineer, felt like he was having one of the worst hangovers of his life.

He said: "It was a long hangover, it was lasting a few weeks. They [the GP] gave me heartburn tablets, asked me to go back the next day for blood [tests].

"The doctor then chapped my door 11 o'clock at night, telling me my kidneys had failed – says I have less than a few weeks to go."

Allan was rushed up to Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert and was put on dialysis for around 10months, something he managed to work through and even kept playing golf.

While it was a scary event, it came as no surprise to the local man whose mother and grandmother both suffered kidney failure in their lives, the latter unfortunately before the 1950s by which time the first artificial kidney machines were developed, built and tested.

Ian, a 61-year-old mechanical engineer who lives in Vermont USA, put himself forward as a potential donor as soon as it was clear a transplant was necessary and flew back and forth three or four times for various tests and the likes.

The father, who was local to Alloa before moving overseas, was put on a diet to lose 35lbs and was not afraid to go under the knife, although a last-minute technicality almost denied the duo.

It was thought Ian may have a somewhat unusual double artery in his kidney, but further tests revealed a single vessel that split off into two.

Once the health board was comfortable going ahead, Ian was happy to take a small risk.

Upon reflection, he said: "When the worst of the pain subsides you just feel the same person that you were before you went into the operation."

Allan is now happy to be off dialysis following the operation at the end of March, musing that it feels like as if he was carrying a rugby ball where the new organ is.

He wanted to say a special thank to renal nurses and staff both at Forth Valley Royal and at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow where he was treated.