When Sophie Hughes flew 16,000 kilometres from Australia to the UK visit her tiny nephew Oscar, she arrived with a special present - the gift of life.

The baby was battling for survival after being born with a life-threatening condition - and his only hope was a liver transplant.

After he spent a fruitless few months on the transplant list, brave Sophie, 25, stepped forward and agreed to donate part of her own liver.

Both have now made a full recovery.


Oscar's parents, Kerry and Anthony Hughes, of Stockport, Greater Manchester, last night paid tribute to Sophie.

Former travel agent Mrs Hughes, 31, said: "We will be for ever thankful. It is amazing Sophie flew 10,000 miles to save him."

Oscar was born last October but tests later showed that he had biliary atresia - a condition where the main bile duct from the liver does not form properly.

At just seven weeks old he underwent a major operation, but it was not a success.

Oscar went on the transplant list but became so poorly that his best chance of survival was a live donation - and Anthony's sister Sophie had no hesitation in volunteering. The surgery went ahead in May.

Speaking from Sydney, she said: "My scar is like a badge of honour, and even though I'm half a world away, a little piece of me is with Oscar."

Mrs Hughes is supporting the Yellow Alert campaign to make parents more aware of the symptoms of liver disease in newborns. For more information, go to childliverdisease.org.