Less than one month after the NBA’s Karl-Anthony Towns revealed that his mother Jacqueline Cruz-Towns was placed in a coma because of COVID-19, it’s been announced that she passed away on April 13. She was 59 years old.
Towns first talked about his mother’s condition in an Instagram video on March 24. In the clip, he urged everyone to seek medical treatment if they feel any symptoms. It’s something he also told his mother to do once he learned that she wasn’t feeling well.
Jacqueline eventually went to a hospital, but her condition didn’t improve. Towns said that her temperature would lower to 101 degrees on medication before shooting back up.
There was a period in which it appeared she was getting better, but her health took a turn for the worse, which is why it was necessary to place her in a coma.
Towns referred to his mother in that video as the head of the household, and in the past he has talked about how close they were, calling himself a “mama’s boy.” Karl Towns Sr. also had been infected by the novel coronavirus, but he recovered.
On Monday, Towns’ Minnesota Timberwolves team released a statement from the Towns family in which they thanked supporters and the medical professionals at hospitals in Philadelphia and Edison, New Jersey, where Cruz-Towns received care:
“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,” the statement read.
“The Towns family is extremely grateful for the outpouring of love and support they have received during this very difficult time. They would like to thank the medical warriors at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and JFK Medical Center, who fought for Jackie day in and day out, and helped Karl Sr. from the same virus that took Jackie’s life.
“The family is devastated by their tremendous loss, and respectfully requests privacy in this time of great mourning.”
After the tragic news spread, many reacted on social media and sent the Timberwolves center their condolences.
Tyus Jones of the Memphis Grizzlies also reacted and tweeted, “Thoughts and prayers to @KarlTowns and his family. Can’t believe it. RIP Mrs. Towns.”
In a 2017 ESPN interview, Towns revealed that Jacqueline worked for the Rutgers University Medical department in New Jersey for more than two decades.