Ten days ago, former University of Kentucky All-American and current Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns announced that he would give a $100,000 to the Mayo Clinic to support COVID-19 testing. Shortly after, he found out his mother, Jacqueline Cruz, was ill. Both of his parents were not feeling well, and both went to a physician. Towns later told them to go to a hospital and seek a test for the coronavirus.
Towns’ father was sent home to self-isolate. His mother has never come home from the hospital. Towns announced in a YouTube video Tuesday night that she is in a medically induced coma and fighting for her life.
“Can’t sleep. Found the strength to do this video,” Towns says at the start of the 5-minute video. “I think it’s important that everyone understands the severity of what’s going on in the world right now with this 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 his mother kept feeling worse, had a high fever, and difficulty breathing. She had a brief improvement, but then “went sideways.”
“She kept getting worse, and the hospital was doing everything it could, and I was doing everything I could,” he said. “Her fever would spike to 103, then go back down to 101 with meds. She was very uncomfortable. Her lungs were getting worse. Her condition was getting worse. . . . Her lungs were extremely getting worse and she was getting trouble breathing. They were explaining to me that she had to be put on a ventilator. She was confused, and I was trying to explain things.”
Towns said she has since been put into a medically induced coma, and he hasn’t been able to communicate with her.
“I told her I loved her. Every day I told her,” he says. “. . . 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. . . . It’s rough. And, day by day, we’re just seeing how it goes. I’m being very positive and keeping strength up for everybody in my family.”
Towns said he was making his video to impress upon people to take the threat of the virus seriously.
“People need to understand that the severity of this disease is real,” he said. “This disease needs to not be taken lightly. Please protect your family, your loved ones, friends, yourself. Practice social distancing. This disease is deadly. Me and my family are going to keep fighting this. We’re going to beat it. We’re going to win. I hope my story helps you. I send my love to all your families.”