ST. LOUIS, March 27 (UPI) -- The infant son of Tampa Bay wide receiver Joe Jurevicius has died after just nine weeks.
Michael William Jurevicius was born prematurely on Jan. 14. He had undeveloped lungs. Recently, he had been moved to a hospital in St. Louis for treatment.
Jurevicius spent much of the week before the NFC Championship game at Philadelphia at the hospital in Tampa with his pregnant wife, Meagan, because doctors diagnosed pregnancy complications.
The Tampa Tribune reported that Jurevicius had described his son's illness as ``developmental issues with his lungs not functioning.''
"Meagan and I want to thank everyone for their support and wishes during this time," Jurevicius said in a statement released by the team and published by the St. Petersburg Times. "The last few months have been joyous and difficult for our family. Michael was very courageous, and he enriched our lives for the short time he was with us. We want to thank all the doctors and nurses at St. Joseph's Women's Hospital, Tampa General Hospital, and St. Louis Children's Hospital for their help and care, and all of our fans for their support. Now we just need time to grieve."
"The thoughts and prayers of the entire Buccaneer organization are with Joe and Meagan over the loss of Michael," said General Manager Rich McKay, who was in Phoenix for the NFL owners meeting.
Jurevicius flew to Philadelphia the night before the game against the Eagles, and made a key 71-yard reception that was the catalyst in the Bucs' 27-10 victory.
In the Super Bowl, Jurevicius, who re-joined the team in San Diego after flying back to Tampa for three days, caught four passes for 78 yards in the 48-21 decimation of the Oakland Raiders.
The Tribune said the Bucs will be releasing information regarding where donations and expressions of sympathy can be sent at a later date after arrangements have been made.