PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Jacqueline Cruz Towns, the mother of NBA All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns, passed away Monday due to complications from the novel coronavirus the Minnesota Timberwolves announced. She was 58.
“Jackie, as she was affectionately known among family and friends, had been battling the virus for more than a month when she succumbed on April 13,” the Towns family said in a statement. “Jackie was many things to many people - a wife, mother, daughter, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend. The matriarch of the Towns family, she was an incredible source of strength; a fiery, caring, and extremely loving person, who touched everyone she met. Her passion was palpable and her energy will never be replaced.”
On March 25, Karl Towns revealed in a five-minute, 47-second video he posted on his YouTube channel and various social media accounts that both his mother and father, Karl Towns Sr., both became ill with COVID-19.
Jackie was later put on a ventilator and into a medically induced coma.
“I think it’s important that everyone understands the severity of what’s happening in the world right now with this coronavirus," Towns said in the video last month. “I was told early last week that my parents weren’t feeling well. My first reaction was to go seek medical attention immediately and there’s no reason to wait. I was very adamant since the first day to go to a hospital and seek evaluation. My sister and I told her she needs to get checked for corona. I don’t think anyone really understood what it was.
“She kept getting worse. The hospital was doing everything they could. I did everything I could and still am. She wasn’t getting better,” Towns said. “Her fever was never cutting from 103, maybe getting down to 101.9 with the meds and immediately spiking back up during the night. She was very uncomfortable. Her lungs and cough were getting worse. She was deteriorating. We always thought that the next medicine would help. This is one that’s going to get it done. This mixture would get it done.”
Karl Towns, Sr. also got the coronavirus, but he was released from the hospital, quarantined, and has since recovered.
“The Towns family is extremely grateful for the outpouring of love and support they have received during this very difficult time,” the statement continued from the family. “They would like to thank the medical warriors at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and JFK Medical Center, who fought for Jackie day in and day out, and helped Karl Sr. recover from the same virus that took Jackie’s life.”
In his video a few weeks ago, Karl-Anthony Towns said his mother felt better for a brief time before things went “sideways”.
Towns made the video to help spread about the severity of the virus and even before his parents became sick, he donated $100,000 to the Mayo Clinic to help with testing.
“The Timberwolves organization is incredibly saddened to hear of the passing of Jacqueline Towns due to complications from COVID-19,” the team said in a statement. “In the four-plus years we were fortunate to know Jackie, she became part of our family. Her passion for life and her family was palpable. As Karl’s No. 1 fan, Jackie provided constant and positive energy for him and was beloved by our entire organization and staff at Target Center as she supported her son and the Timberwolves.
“The League, teams, and players have come together in their support of Jackie and Karl and we are grateful for our NBA family. We would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and medical personnel who cared for Jackie during her illness and all of Karl’s fans who sent their support this past month. Our deepest condolences go out to Karl and his family during this difficult time.”
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