Donation connection: Letitia Williams

UF Health clinical leader helps fill void left by sister’s tragic death

By: Coral Denton

During her 12 years at UF Health, Letitia Williams, M.S.N., R.N., RN-BC, UF Health Shands Hospital Neurosurgery Unit 11-5 clinical leader, has dedicated her life to helping others, including trauma and transplant patients.

“I’ve always been driven to help others, and that’s what guided me to nursing,” she said.


Desiree Miller

In April 2015, Williams’ professional and personal lives tragically collided as her sister, Desiree Miller, 31, was involved in a major car accident. Miller passed away at UF Health Shands from the injuries she suffered.

“Desiree was someone who was very dependable,” Williams said. “She liked to help others, and she was driven by that. Not only did she like helping people, but we grew up on a farm in Bronson, and she loved animals, too.”

Following her sister’s death, Williams gained custody of Miller’s two children, Autumn Miller and Adam Miller Jr., who were 10 and 6 at the time of their mother’s death.

“Her kids were her biggest impact,” Williams said. “She loved being a mother to her kids.”

Miller was a registered organ donor. Her desire to help others carried on after her death, as she saved the lives of four patients, ranging in age from 12 to 53, through the donation of her heart, liver and both kidneys.


Following the death of her sister, Desiree Miller, Letitia Williams gained custody of her niece Autumn Miller and nephew Adam Miller Jr.

“Now that we’ve gone through personal experience with organ donation, it feels good knowing our loss has helped others go on in life,” Williams said. “Although we lost Desiree, she’s able to help other families. Her death also inspired other family members to register as donors, and they probably would have never thought about registering before.”

Williams is thankful for the compassionate care our physicians, nurses and staff at the UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital provided her sister.

Williams said, “I really commend the staff of the Unit 4 West Surgical/Trauma ICU. Everyone treated her with such great care.”