Karl-Anthony Towns says mother is in coma while battling COVID-19

Minnesota Timberwolves centre Karl-Anthony Towns posted an emotional video to Instagram late Tuesday to detail his family’s experience with COVID-19.

Towns said his mother, Jacqueline Cruz, has been diagnosed with the disease and is currently on a ventilator and in a medically-induced coma while fighting the virus that’s recently brought the world to a near standstill.

“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,” Towns said in the video, detailing how quickly the situation unfolded. “After a couple days of them [not] showing any signs of improvement, I was very adamant [they needed] to go to the hospital and seek further evaluation. Specifically, me and my sister had told her she needs to get checked for [COVID-19].

“I don’t think anyone really understood what it was … she kept getting worse, she kept getting worse. The hospital was doing everything they can, I was doing everything I could.”

His mother’s fever wouldn’t subside, Towns said, and respiratory issues soon made the situation worse.

“She was very uncomfortable, her lungs were getting worse, her cough was getting worse. She was deteriorating.”

The 24-year-old says his father, Karl Towns Sr., was released from the hospital with instruction to self-quarantine, while his mother was unable to leave. While Towns said she seemed to have turned the corner and begun recovering recently, her respiratory issues soon worsened, leading to her being put on a ventilator.

“It’s been very difficult for me and my family, to say the least,” Towns said. “…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, I’ve just been getting updates on her condition. It’s rough. Day by day, we’re just seeing how it goes.”

Towns said he was compelled to make his family’s story public “so that people understand the severity of this disease.”

“This disease needs to not be taken lightly,” Towns said. “Please protect your family, your loved ones, your friends, yourself. Practice social distancing, please don’t be in places with a lot of people.”

In the caption of his Instagram post, the Edison, N.J. native added, “We need more equipment and we need to help those medical personnel on the front lines. Thank you to the medical staff who are helping my mom. You are all the true heroes!

“Praying for all of us at this difficult time.”