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Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns said Tuesday his mother has been placed into a medically induced coma and he believes she is battling the coronavirus.
Towns made the revelation about his mother, Jacqueline Cruz, in an emotional video on Instagram. He urged fans and followers to take COVID-19 seriously.
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“I think it’s important that everyone understands the severity of what’s happening in the world right now with the coronavirus, and I think where my life is right now could help, so I decided to do this video and give you an update of where I’m at,” Towns said. “I was told early last week my parents weren’t feeling well. My first reaction to her was to go seek medical attention immediately. There’s no reason to wait, just go to the nearest hospital. And after a couple days of not showing any signs of improvement, I was very adamant on the first day to go to a hospital and seek further evaluation.”
“Specifically, my sister told her she needs to get checked for corona. I don’t think anyone really understood what it was, with deteriorating condition. She kept getting worse, she kept getting worse, and the hospital was doing everything they can.
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“She just wasn’t getting better. Her fever was never cutting from 103, maybe go down to 101.9 with the meds, and then immediately spike back up during the night. She was very uncomfortable. Her lungs were getting worse, her cough was getting worse. She was deteriorating. She was deteriorating — and we always felt that the next medicine would help. This is the one that’s going to get it done. This mixture is going to get it done.”
Towns was born in Edison, N.J. Though it’s unclear where his parents currently live, New Jersey had the second-highest number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. as of Tuesday night, with at least 3,675. Towns said his father, Karl Sr., was self-isolating at home.
Towns said he and his family assumed his mother had come down with COVID-19 because of her symptoms. He said she started to feel better before her health started to deteriorate further.
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“She was feeling great,” Towns said. “We talked, and she felt she turned the corner; I felt she was turning the corner. I knew there was more days to come, but I felt that we were heading in the right direction. They said that she went sideways and things had went sideways quick. And her lungs were extremely getting worse, and she was having trouble breathing and they were just explaining to me that she had to be put on a ventilator. And she was getting worse, and she was confused by everything, and I’m trying to talk to her about everything and encourage and stay positive, just talk through everything with her.”
Towns said he was asked to make the video to make sure people know that the virus is real.
“This disease needs to not 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; it just heightens your chances of getting this disease and this disease … it’s deadly. It’s deadly. And we’re going to keep fighting on my side, me and my family, we’re going to keep fighting this. We’re going to beat it; we’re going to win.”
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More than 55,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the U.S. with at least 802 deaths.