Karl-Anthony Towns shared how coronavirus has affected him in a tearful video on March 24. The NBA center said both his parents recently fell ill with COVID-19 symptoms. His dad is in quarantine, while his mom remains hospitalized.
UPDATE: (4/13/20, 3:34 p.m. ET) — Karl-Anthony Towns‘ mother, Jacqueline Cruz has passed away from the coronavirus, according to a statement from the Towns family, released by the Minnesota Timberwolves on April 13. The news of her death comes just weeks after the Timberwolves player revealed on March 24 that his mother was in a medically induced coma after she fell ill with COVID-19 symptoms.
ORIGINAL: Karl-Anthony Towns is urging fans to take COVID-19 seriously after his parents recently fell ill with coronavirus symptoms. The Minnesota Timberwolves star, 24, revealed in an emotional video late Tuesday night that his mother, Jacqueline Cruz has been hospitalized for the past week with what he believes is coronavirus. Towns said his mother is now in a medically-induced coma and is on a ventilator after she had trouble trouble breathing.
“I think it’s important that everyone understands the severity of what’s happening in the world right now with the coronavirus, and I think where my life is right now could help, so I decided to do this video and give you an update of where I’m at,” Towns said in a near six-minute video posted to his personal Instagram account on March 24. “I was told early last week my parents weren’t feeling well. My first reaction to her was to go seek medical attention immediately. There’s no reason to wait, just go to the nearest hospital. And after a couple days of not showing any signs of improvement, I was very adamant on the first day to go to a hospital and seek further evaluation.”
Towns went on to explain that it was his sister who “specifically” told their mother that she needed to get tested for coronavirus. “I don’t think anyone really understood what it was, with deteriorating condition. She kept getting worse, she kept getting worse, and the hospital was doing everything they can,” he said.
Unfortunately, Towns said his mother’s condition wasn’t getting any better.
“Her fever was never cutting from 103, maybe go down to 101.9 with the meds, and then immediately spike back up during the night. She was very uncomfortable,” he explained. “Her lungs were getting worse, her cough was getting worse. She was deteriorating. She was deteriorating — and we always felt that the next medicine would help. This is the one that’s going to get it done. This mixture is going to get it done.”
(Video credit: Instagram/Karl Anthony Towns)
Towns admitted that while his family believed his mother’s symptoms were that of COVID-19, there was a point in “recent days” when she started to feel better.
“She was feeling great. We talked, and she felt she turned the corner; I felt she was turning the corner. I knew there was more days to come, but I felt that we were heading in the right direction,” he recalled, before explaining that his mother’s condition declined shortly after.
“They said that she went sideways and things had went sideways quick. And her lungs were extremely getting worse and she was having trouble breathing, and they were just explaining to me that she had to be put on a ventilator,” Towns said. “And she was getting worse and she was confused by everything, and I’m trying to talk to her about everything and encourage and stay positive, just talk through everything with her.”
Throughout his mother’s illness, Towns noted that he was in constant contact with her.
“I talked to her when she went there and told her I loved her. Every day I always told her how much I love her. She was telling me things I didn’t want to hear so — I dismissed some things she was saying because it wasn’t something I want to hear,” Towns explained.
The Timberwolves center, who noted that his father was released form the hospital and is now home in self-quarantine, had to pause numerous times during the video to compose himself.
“It came to a point where it’s difficult. It’s been very difficult for me and my family, to say the least. She’s the head of our household. She’s the boss,” he continued. “She’s been in a medically induced coma. Since that day, I haven’t talked to her, haven’t been able to obviously communicate with her,” Towns admitted. “I’ve just been getting updates on her condition. It’s rough, and day by day we’re just seeing how it goes. We’re being positive; I’m being very positive. So I’m just keeping the strength up for everybody and my family.”
As Towns and his family remain hopeful that his mother will recover, they were adamant about sharing their story to help others during the ongoing global health crisis.
“[My family] told me to make this video so that people understand that the severity of this disease is real,” he said. “This disease needs to not be taken lightly. Please protect your families, your loved ones, your friends, yourself. Practice social distancing. Please don’t be in places with a lot of people; it just heightens your chances of getting this disease, and this disease … it’s deadly. It’s deadly. And we’re going to keep fighting on my side, me and my family, we’re going to keep fighting this. We’re going to beat it. We’re going to win.”
In the caption of his video, Towns expressed how important it is to collect accurate information and stay strong.
“I hope my story helps. I hope my story gives you the correct information,” he said. “Send my love to all your families. I’m praying for every single one of you guys. Give everyone my thoughts and my prayers, and life may keep throwing punches at me, but I’ll keep getting back up. And I ain’t going to quit at any time, and neither will my whole family, neither will my mother. Dominican women are strong, I know they are,” he continued. “My mother is the strongest women I know, and I know she’ll beat this, and we’re going to rejoice when she does. Love you guys, and I’ll talk to you later.”
Utah Jazz guard, Donovan Mitchell, who was the second NBA player to test positive for coronavirus, sent a heartfelt message to Towns under his video, letting him know he’s praying for his family. Our thoughts are with Karl-Anthony Towns and his family, as well as others who’ve been affected by this global health crisis.