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

Jason Owens
·2-min read

Karl-Anthony Towns lost his mother Jacqueline to COVID-19 in April.

On Monday, the Minnesota Timberwolves star thanked his fans for their support and shared a video titled “The toughest year of my life” in which he opens up about her death.

The video starts with a Towns highlight reel with pundits lauding his play to start the 2019-20 season before showing news clips of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the NBA in the spring. He then sits down for an interview in which he talks about his mother’s bout with the coronavirus which led to her being put into a medically induced coma before ultimately suffering a stroke.

He said that his father Karl Sr. broke the news to him.

“He was just like, ‘She’s gone. She had a stroke during the night and she's gone,’” Towns said. “‘Has she taken a step back? What's the next step?'

“Because in my mind, I'm just thinking about [next] steps. He had just told me those doctors thought there was no way for meaningful life from her after this stroke.”

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. The Kings won 113-109. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Karl-Anthony Towns candidly discussed the agonizing details of his mother's painful struggle and eventual death due to COVID-19. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Difficult decision for Towns

He then talked about the decision to take his mother off of life support and sharing the news with his family.

“It just got to a point where it was harming her,” Towns continued. “I gave her all the time, and I made the hardest decision you can make. I called my sister, I told her the decision I made was. You've got to live with that. I made that decision.”

Towns’ father also caught the coronavirus, but his condition didn’t deteriorate like his mother’s did. Towns was open publicly about his mother’s battle with the virus and shared her story in part to spread awareness of COVID-19 as it took hold in the United States in March.

Jacqueline battled with the illness for weeks before her stroke prompted the difficult decision to take her off life support.

Towns and his family announced her death on April 13, but he had not opened up in detail about the family tragedy until releasing Monday’s video.

The entire video can be seen below.

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