The mother of NBA superstar Karl-Anthony Towns lost her battle with coronavirus yesterday. Jacqueline Cruz was 58 years old and had fallen into a coma in a hospital while battling the illness.
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“The Towns family is heartbroken,” a spokesperson from the Timberwolves said in a statement. “Jackie, as she was affectionately known among family and friends, has been battling the virus for more than a month when she succumbed on April 13.”
“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.”
Both of the NBA stars’ parents contracted the virus, thankfully his father was able to pull through.
“The Towns family is extremely grateful for the outpouring of love and support they have received during this very difficult time… The family is devastated by their tremendous loss, and respectfully requests privacy at this time of great mourning.”
Back in March, Towns released an emotional plea via Instagram and pleaded with Americans to take the pandemic threat seriously.
“This disease should not be taken lightly.”
“Things went sideways quickly,” Towns explained, fighting back emotion and issuing a call to everyone watching: “Please protect your family, your loved ones, your friends, yourself, practice social distancing… it’s deadly.”
At the time, towns said his father is at home in mandatory quarantine and unable to be with his wife at this time. That’s one of the more gut-wrenching aspects of those suffering from this illness — often times the person must suffer alone.
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Towns praised the healthcare workers treating his mother as the “true heroes” during this difficult time.
“It’s difficult. Very difficult for me and my family to say the least. She’s in a medically induced coma… it’s rough,” Towns said in his statement in March. “Day by day we’re seeing how it goes… I wanted to make this video so people understand the severity of this disease is real. This disease should not be taken lightly. Please protect your family, your loved ones, your friends, yourself, practice social distancing… it’s deadly.”
Despite being in the midst of a terrible situation personally, Towns offered up his prayers for others who may be watching his video. “Send my love to all your families, praying for every single one of you guys. I’m keeping everyone in my thoughts and prayers.”
Keep the Towns family in your prayers.