Timberwolves superstar Karl-Anthony Towns posted an emotional video late Tuesday night saying his mother, Jacqueline Cruz, is in a coma and on a ventilator after falling ill from what he believes to be COVID-19.
“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.
“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."
It's not clear where Towns' mother was exposed to the disease, nor is it clear where she is hospitalized. Towns is from New Jersey, which is among the states hardest hit so far by the outbreak.
“She just wasn't getting 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," he said. "She was very uncomfortable. Her lungs were getting worse, her cough was getting worse. She was deteriorating."
Eventually, Towns said his mom thought she turned a corner and was getting better before her illness went "sideways."
"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. 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.
"She was telling me things that I didn't want to hear," said Towns. "It's difficult, it's been very difficult for me and my family to say the least. She's been in a medically induced coma since that day."
Towns, who donated $100,000 to the Mayo Clinic to help combat the novel coronavirus outbreak, pleaded with everyone to understand the severity of situation.
“This disease needs to not be taken lightly,” he said. “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."
Towns said his mother and father, who is self-quarantining, were both tested for COVID-19.