Karl-Anthony Towns opens up about mother's death after COVID-19

Jacqueline Towns died from complications of COVID-19 in April.
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Karl-Anthony Towns

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Karl-Anthony Towns released a YouTube video on Monday night that details his mother's death and his healing process over the past five months.

In the video "The Toughest Year of My Life," Towns revealed that Jacqueline Towns contracted symptoms in March. Although she tried to fight off the virus, Towns and his sister convinced her to be admitted to JFK Hospital in Edison, New Jersey because of her pre-existing health issues.

"She was just like everyone else," Towns recalled. "She just didn't know. We were very verbal that she should be getting checked just in case she has COVID. She was just getting worse."

As her symptoms from COVID-19 began to worsen, Jacqueline was placed in a medically induced coma. At that point, Towns flew from Minnesota to see his mother.

"I've seen her in different states, but this one was different," Towns said. "I could feel her energy. She was speaking to me without saying a word. I felt like she was saying 'I'm good. I've got a lot of energy left."

As Towns' father, Karl Towns Sr., also contracted the virus, Jacqueline was transported to Penn University three weeks after being admitted to the hospital. As his father recovered, Jacqueline also showed signs of improvement and healthcare staff began transitioning her out of the coma.

"I never wanted to feel comfortable because I felt being comfortable would lead to something bad," Towns said. "But it brought hope. It brought a lot of optimism."

It was not long after she was being removed from the coma when Towns received a call from his father, indicating that his mother had suffered a stroke. With Jacqueline on life support, Towns gave his mother a chance to recover but had to make the decision to remove her from life support.

"It got to a point where it was just harming her," Towns said. "I gave her all the time and I made the hardest decision you could make.” She took "her last breath with laughter," Towns recalled. 

"There was no other way Jackie would have wanted it," Towns said. "She didn't want people to cry for her. She wanted people to laugh. It just hurts. It just hurts so bad."

In the five months since his mother's death, Towns said he's relied on friends and family for support. 

"It's helped," Towns said. "But I think one day and I know it's creeping up, I'm going to have to find a way to deal with it actually. That's why I'm doing this. I thought this would be therapeutic for me to admit that these things are real and how I feel is real. I'm just trying to find some normalcy."

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