The mother of Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns has died from complications of the coronavirus, his family announced on Monday. Towns pleaded with fans about the of COVID-19 last month when his mom, Jacqueline, was battling symptoms of the virus.
The Towns family said in a statement released by the Timberwolves that they were "heartbroken."
"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 13th. 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."
The family also thanked the medical teams at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia and JFK Medical Center in New Jersey for helping Towns' parents. Karl-Anthony's father, Karl Towns Sr., has recovered from the virus.
Last month, Towns said in an Instagram video that his parents both went to the hospital after feeling ill for a few days. While his father was discharged to quarantine, he said his mother's health "kept getting worse" because her cough and fever weren't improving. At one point, both he and his mother thought she was turning the corner, but she had to be put on a ventilator.
"I was telling her how much I love her," he said. "She was telling me things I didn't want to hear. She's the head of our household. She's been in a medically induced coma since that day."
Towns urged people to listen to his warning and take the precautions necessary to stop the spread of coronavirus. "This disease needs not to 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."