TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — While Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans remember Mike Williams as the talented playmaker on the football field, Tierney Lyle knew him off the field as the terrific father to their daughter Mya.
“That was his world, you know, and he took the extra mile for her,” Lyle said while holding back tears.
Lyle sat down with News Channel 8 Thursday evening for her first broadcast interview since it was reported that Tampa police were investigating whether Williams received “unprescribed narcotics” at a Tampa hospital before his death earlier this month.
Lyle said 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.
Lyle’s mother has a background in cardiology.
“[My mom] was just like, he was just fine, something had to happen for him to go into cardiac arrest,” Lyle said. “And when that happened and we were told from another friend that there were narcotics and kratom given to him, she said that’s what put him into cardiac arrest.”
Lyle said she and her mom reported to Tampa police that the former NFL star received unprescribed narcotics just days before his death in the hospital on Sept. 12. He was 36 years old.
Before this week’s Monday Night Football game, there was a memorial balloon release outside Raymond James Stadium.
Lyle shared with News Channel 8 a video showing that their daughter has her father’s athletic talent.
“She’s really into gymnastics,” Lyle said. “Not sure if anyone saw flips she does. That’s all him. He taught her all of that.”
The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner is still investigating the cause of Williams’ death as they await results of toxicology tests.
A Hillsborough County spokesperson said the initial report about his death cannot be made public at this time because of the “open and active criminal investigation.”
“The Tampa Police Department has been informed of allegations that a hospitalized individual, who later died, was provided unprescribed narcotics by an outside party,” TPD said in a statement to News Channel 8 earlier this week. “We take all allegations of criminal activity seriously, and detectives are working tirelessly on this active investigation. Additional information may be provided as it becomes available.”
When reached for comment on the allegations Williams received unprescribed drugs, a St. Joseph’s Hospital spokesperson would not even confirm if Williams was a patient there due to medical privacy laws.