Kidney recipient returns to work, gains lifelong friend

Kidney recipient returns to work, gains lifelong friend

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A Lee County deputy who received a kidney is back at work, and happy to be back doing what he loves.

Not only does he have a new kidney, he also has a new outlook on life and a lifelong friend.

"I'm just glad to get out of the house. But I'm glad to get back and start helping again," said Lee County Deputy Stewart Williamson.

Fellow deputies welcomed him back on Monday.

29-year-old Williamson spent the last month and a half recovering from a kidney transplant he had on December 19 in Atlanta.

"It went better than expected," Williamson said. "The recovery time was actually quicker then expected."

Williamson was born with one kidney and about four years ago that kidney starting failing.

He was diagnosed with stage four chronic kidney disease.

"I'm just happy that my body accepted it and the life I'm living right now and the life from here on out is better than I've ever had said Williamson. "And I'm extremely grateful that this is able to happen and that Richard made it happen."

Richard Brown, his donor, lives in Atlanta and previously worked for the Albany Police Department.

The two were acquaintances, but now have a special bond.

"I feel more comfortable in his home now than I do in my own, because I have his kidney," Stewart said. "I've never drank coffee before I got the kidney. He drinks it everyday. Now that I have his kidney I have to have coffee everyday. It's really strange."

Williamson attributes the new behavior to cellular memory.

Richard will also be Stewart's best man in his wedding.

"He kept saying, I hope I have something to do with your wedding, I hope I'm a part of your life now. I said 'you'll always be part of my life.' I said, 'Yeah, I'm pretty sure you'll have something to do with my wedding and I asked him a couple weeks after the surgery.'"

Deputy Williamson is on light duty and hopes to be back patrolling the streets sometime in May.

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