UPDATE (Tuesday): Mike Williams died Tuesday morning at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa.
UPDATE (Saturday): Mike Williams remained in the intensive care unit Saturday at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa and was breathing on his own after being removed from life support.
DEVELOPING: TAMPA — Tierney Lyle walked out of the ICU at St. Joseph’s Hospital where Mike Williams lay motionless, connected to a web of tubes that kept breathing for him.
As the mother of Williams’ 8-year-old daughter, Mya, she was struggling to find the words to explain how the former Bucs receiver ended up partially paralyzed and on life support following a construction accident in Hillsborough County last week.
“She’s mad. She cried so much yesterday and today. She’s just angry,” Lyle, 32, said of her daughter Wednesday. “That was daddy’s girl. His Instagram was mikemyajr19 She has all the athletic skills. She’s a gymnast. A natural, since she was like 4. She was blessed with all that ability.”
That ability was on display for four seasons at the Buccaneers training facility, which is just across the street from Williams’ hospital bed on the third floor of Building C.
Lyle said she believed Williams, 36, was doing better since the accident, having been put into a transitional care unit but without movement from the waist down. She said he faced the prospect of eight hours of therapy daily for months to come.
“He was on his way to recovery,” Lyle said. “Then over the weekend, he went into cardiac arrest.” She said an MRI revealed Williams had no brain activity.
Lyle said Williams’ family was waiting for her and Mya to spend some time with him before taking him off life support Wednesday.
“We’re here and still trying to figure it out,” Lyle said. “He was asleep when we went in there, and he woke up when he heard our voices and his daughter’s voice. And he looked around and blinked and he was crying, but he can’t move.”
A Spectrum TV station in Buffalo, New York, reported it had confirmed Tuesday night that Williams had died as a result of his injuries. The news was picked up by media outlets across the country, including the Tampa Bay Times.
Lyle said she drove with her mother and Mya from their home in Manatee County on Wednesday. They visited with him in the room twice.
“I did see him,” Lyle said. “I talked to him. We cried. It’s like he knew we were there.”
A fourth-round pick out of Syracuse in 2010, Williams burst onto the scene with 964 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns. That made him an NFL Pepsi Offensive Rookie of the Year finalist.
Williams played only four seasons with Tampa Bay before being traded to his hometown Buffalo Bills in 2014. He finished his career spending part of 2016 with the Chiefs in the offseason.