A LUCKY young man was given the gift of life by a caring brother after doctors told him he needed a new kidney while undergoing -- an operation on his JAW.

Charlie Lewis, 27, was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease while going under the knife for the simple, unrelated procedure.

Doctors were able to slow the progression of the illness, but Charlie knew he would eventually require a transplant.

Unfortunately his mum, dad and eldest brother were ruled out as suitable donors.

But brother Harry, 29, stepped up and proved to be a match - donating his "Ferrari" organ to change Charlie's life last month.

Charlie, from Glastonbury, Somerset, said: "It was all a bit of a shock - even the hospital thought they had got my blood mixed up with someone else as my kidney function was so low for my age.

"I had to make quite a few changes socially. I wasn't able to go out like I was. I had to cut out alcohol and change my diet.

"I had lots of hospital appointments and started on a lot of medication to manage the symptoms."

His family wanted to help as soon as a transplant was mentioned.

But his mother previously had melanoma, a type of skin cancer, and at five years old, his other brother was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma, a rare form of eye cancer.

Charlie's father underwent six months of rigorous testing, but failed at the last hurdle as his kidney function was too low.

Harry, who was travelling in Australia at the time, immediately stepped in to offer one of his own kidneys.

"Harry didn't hesitate to do it. He just accepted it straight away," said Charlie.

In May, three months before the transplant, Charlie was enduring dialysis - a procedure which cleans the blood - three times-a-week.

He said: "That was the worst thing - it makes you feel so ill. I didn't want to have to stay hooked up to a machine for four hours on a weekly basis."

Just before the transplant on August 1, his kidney function was at just seven per cent.

He said: "I was surprisingly OK - no one would have known I was ill. But at seven per cent I was feeling exhausted and if I didn't get a transplant it would have got worse."

Charlie is making remarkable progress a month after the operation and can now run, cycle and play golf "completely pain free."

He said: "I was never expecting to recover so quickly. The doctors say I'm way ahead. I've bounced back.

"My kidney function has gone from just seven per cent pre-transplant to a massive 80 per cent, which is way above the average.

"This is all thanks to my brother, Harry, and his Ferrari kidney."

Having lost a kidney as opposed to gaining one, Harry, is going through a longer recovery process.

Charlie said: "Harry is a bit behind me but he's doing well.

"He goes on long walks and is driving for the first time this weekend. I can't thank him enough.

"My hero of a brother selflessly donated his kidney to me. He has given me my life back."

Charlie and his other brother have started a flooring company named Fit My Floor, which Harry will return to when he is recovered.