EFFINGHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Heroism is not motivated by awards. But it does warrant them.
Effingham County Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie Thursday honored Charlie Hanson, the Effingham man who donated a kidney to Sheriff's Deputy Ivey Williamson, who Hanson did not know a few months ago but will now never be separated from for the rest of their lives.
"It's just a little something," McDuffie said of the plaque he presented to Hanson, "that we wanted to do to say thank you for a true hero."
Hanson and Williamson share a rare blood type, O-negative which is found in only 7 percent of Americans.
But because Hanson's sacrifice, they haven't only become friends, they share a uniquely personal connection.
"I am extremely grateful," said Williamson. "I am humbled that somebody I didn't even know would be willing to come forward and just offer to donate, much less go through the matching process and be successfully transplanted. He is selfless person, one of the most successful people I know and he will forever always be my hero."
It seems only Hanson would disagree with that characterization.
"It's well worth it," he said of his gesture. "There's nothing wrong with me, I don't even know it happened anymore."
But the Sheriff, the Sheriff's Office and one grateful sheriff's deputy believe this WTOC Hometown Hero did something worthy of recognition.
"I think it's a miracle," said Williamson. "There was definitely a higher power involved."
"Well, he saved a man's life," added McDuffie. "And in my book, that's a hero. I don't know how you fathom it, but that's a hero."