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Karl-Anthony Towns' mother diagnosed with COVID-19, placed in medically induced coma

by:Jack Pilgrim03/25/20

In an emotional testimony posted early Wednesday morning, Kentucky star Karl-Anthony Towns shared a bit of heartbreaking news with his fans and the sports world as a whole.

The current Minnesota Timberwolves center announced that after falling ill early last week, his mother, Jacqueline Cruz, was not only diagnosed with COVID-19, but has since been placed in a medically induced coma.

Meanwhile, his father, Karl Towns Sr., is in a mandated home quarantine following his own test for the virus and hospital visit.

According to Towns, his mother’s condition slowly began to deteriorate as each day passed, with her temperature reaching as high as 103 degrees and falling no lower than 101.9 degrees with medicine.

“She was very uncomfortable,” he said. “Her lungs were getting worse, her cough was getting worse, she was deteriorating. … One day she was feeling great, we talked, and she felt she turned a corner. I thought she turned a corner. … Then they said she went sideways, things went sideways quick. Her lungs were getting extremely worse, she was having trouble breathing. They explained to me that she had to be put on a ventilator.”

Just a few short days later, Cruz was placed in the medically induced coma.

“It’s difficult, very difficult to say the least,” the former Wildcat said. “She’s the head of our household, she’s the boss. She’s been in a medically induced coma since that day. I haven’t talked to her, obviously can’t communicate with her. I’ve just been getting updates on her condition. It’s rough.  … We’re going to keep fighting, me and my family. We’re going to beat this, we’re going to win.”

No matter how difficult this situation is for Towns and his family, the Timberwolves center is remaining optimistic that his mother will fight through.

“My mother is the strongest woman I know,” Towns continued. “I know she’ll beat this. And we’re gonna rejoice when she does.”

As his mother fights through and his father remains quarantined, Towns wants to remind fans and viewers to protect their loved ones and take this deadly disease seriously.

“I wanted to make this video to show the severity of this,” Towns said. “This disease is real. This disease needs to not be taken lightly. 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 [raises] your chances of getting this disease. This disease is deadly.”

Upon release of his announcement, Towns also attached the following message:


“Sharing my story in the hopes that everyone stays at home! 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.”

Here was the former Wildcat’s emotional announcement in its entirety:

Back on March 15, Towns announced he would be making a $100,000 donation to the Mayo Clinic out of Rochester, MN, an academic medical center currently developing a test for COVID-19.

“Mayo Clinic has begun rolling out a test to detect the virus that causes COVID-19,” Towns said on his Twitter at the time of his donation. “My hope is that we can fight this virus quicker and more efficiently by increasing the testing capabilities and availability and Mayo Clinic’s overall COVID-19 response. This is why I will be donating $100K to support these efforts. Thank you to the Mayo Clinic workers and all healthcare workers who are working around the clock to treat us. You are our heroes.

“We’re all in this together, let’s protect ourselves and the community around us.”

According to a release by the clinic, this donation will help increase testing capacity from 200 per day to over 1,000 tests per day in the coming weeks.

“Our team has been working around the clock for the past month to develop a test for COVID-19,” says Dr. William Morice II, chair of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Mayo Clinic. “We are blown away by Karl’s gesture to help us fast-track offering testing to more patients across Minnesota and the nation.”

The KSR family sends their prayers to Towns and his family during this difficult time.

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