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Unexpected factor behind death of former Bills WR Mike Williams

todayDecember 22, 2023 1

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A new report from the Hillsborough County Medical examiner revealed that a rare factor contributed to the death of former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Mike Williams.

Williams spent four years in the NFL, from 2010 to 2014, with Tampa Bay, Buffalo and Kansas City. He also a standout for the Syracuse Orange from 2006-2009.

In August, he was working on a construction job in Tampa when he suffered a serious head injury.

The medical examiner’s report said Williams was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital and then transferred to the Suncoast Hospice, where he later died at the age of 36.

According to the report, his cause of death was “Bacterial Sepsis with Cerebral Abscesses and Necrotizing Lobar Pneumonia Due to Multiple Dental Caries and Retained Tooth Roots Contributory Cause Arteriosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease.”

Mother of Mike Williams’ daughter speaks about police investigation into former Bucs player’s death

Dr. Walter Howard, a clinical professor at University of Florida School of Dentistry is not involved in the case, but said the report shows that severe tooth decay contributed to Williams death.

“The source of that infection, according to that statement, would be from the oral environment, where you’ve got bacteria that has been uncontrolled and caused tooth decay and also abscesses on the roots,” said Howard.

He said cases like this are rare, but entirely preventable with regular dental care.

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“When they become more and more compromised, then bacterial infections can become sepsis and really cause problems,” said Howard.

Records showed that Evans’ cause of death was rare – so rare in fact that his was the only one recorded in county records dating back to the mid-1980s, a spokesperson with the medical examiner’s office told the Tampa Bay Times.

Dr. Howard did not review Evans’ entire case history but says it appears there were a number of factors that led to his death.

“This is a multi-faceted case obviously, you’ve got pulmonary issues, you’ve got cranial trauma, it sounds like they had some type of spinal surgery as well. So, there are so many things going on, it’s like trying to unscramble an omelet,” said Howard.

Tierney Lyle, the mother of Williams’s daughter Mya, told Nexstar’s WFLA that the August workplace accident that later left Williams partially paralyzed happened right before he had plans to celebrate his daughter’s 8th birthday.

“[Mya] was like, well he took me into CVS to get some candy because he couldn’t do much over the weekend for my birthday,” Lyle said. “She was like, he couldn’t walk and he was stating he couldn’t see. That right there just broke my heart.”

Two days later, first responders brought Williams to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa. Lyle said after Williams had a stay in the intensive care unit, she believed there would be a long road to recovery.

But on Sept. 1, Lyle said Williams took a major turn for the worse. Doctors explained that he went into respiratory arrest, followed by cardiac arrest due to low oxygen levels.

In the days that followed, Lyle said she and her mom received alarming information from one of Williams’ close friends that someone had brought him drugs to take on top of his prescribed medication at the hospital.

Williams was put on life support. Doctors took him off a ventilator on Sept. 7 and he was able to breathe on his own for five days before he died Sept. 12.

Police investigated the circumstances around his death but have since closed the inquiry, officials told the Tampa Bay Times.

Williams is survived by his son, Mike Jr., 10, and daughter, Mya, 8, according to Nexstar’s WIVB. He had been accompanied by family in the hospital, including his mother Mary Rosenthal and brother Eric Baylor.

WIVB’s Garrett Phillips and Nick Veronica and WFLA’s Justin Schecker contributed to this report.

​ TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A new report from the Hillsborough County Medical examiner revealed that a rare factor contributed to the death of former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Mike Williams.

Williams spent four years in the NFL, from 2010 to 2014, with Tampa Bay, Buffalo and Kansas City. He also a standout for the Syracuse Orange from 2006-2009.

In August, he was working on a construction job in Tampa when he suffered a serious head injury.

The medical examiner’s report said Williams was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital and then transferred to the Suncoast Hospice, where he later died at the age of 36.

According to the report, his cause of death was “Bacterial Sepsis with Cerebral Abscesses and Necrotizing Lobar Pneumonia Due to Multiple Dental Caries and Retained Tooth Roots Contributory Cause Arteriosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease.”
Mother of Mike Williams’ daughter speaks about police investigation into former Bucs player’s death
Dr. Walter Howard, a clinical professor at University of Florida School of Dentistry is not involved in the case, but said the report shows that severe tooth decay contributed to Williams death.

“The source of that infection, according to that statement, would be from the oral environment, where you’ve got bacteria that has been uncontrolled and caused tooth decay and also abscesses on the roots,” said Howard.

He said cases like this are rare, but entirely preventable with regular dental care.
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“When they become more and more compromised, then bacterial infections can become sepsis and really cause problems,” said Howard.

Records showed that Evans’ cause of death was rare – so rare in fact that his was the only one recorded in county records dating back to the mid-1980s, a spokesperson with the medical examiner’s office told the Tampa Bay Times.

Dr. Howard did not review Evans’ entire case history but says it appears there were a number of factors that led to his death.

“This is a multi-faceted case obviously, you’ve got pulmonary issues, you’ve got cranial trauma, it sounds like they had some type of spinal surgery as well. So, there are so many things going on, it’s like trying to unscramble an omelet,” said Howard.

Tierney Lyle, the mother of Williams’s daughter Mya, told Nexstar’s WFLA that the August workplace accident that later left Williams partially paralyzed happened right before he had plans to celebrate his daughter’s 8th birthday.

“[Mya] was like, well he took me into CVS to get some candy because he couldn’t do much over the weekend for my birthday,” Lyle said. “She was like, he couldn’t walk and he was stating he couldn’t see. That right there just broke my heart.”

Two days later, first responders brought Williams to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa. Lyle said after Williams had a stay in the intensive care unit, she believed there would be a long road to recovery.

But on Sept. 1, Lyle said Williams took a major turn for the worse. Doctors explained that he went into respiratory arrest, followed by cardiac arrest due to low oxygen levels.

In the days that followed, Lyle said she and her mom received alarming information from one of Williams’ close friends that someone had brought him drugs to take on top of his prescribed medication at the hospital.

Williams was put on life support. Doctors took him off a ventilator on Sept. 7 and he was able to breathe on his own for five days before he died Sept. 12.

Police investigated the circumstances around his death but have since closed the inquiry, officials told the Tampa Bay Times.

Williams is survived by his son, Mike Jr., 10, and daughter, Mya, 8, according to Nexstar’s WIVB. He had been accompanied by family in the hospital, including his mother Mary Rosenthal and brother Eric Baylor.

WIVB’s Garrett Phillips and Nick Veronica and WFLA’s Justin Schecker contributed to this report. Read More SportsRochesterFirst  

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