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NBA's Karl-Anthony Towns says mom is in coma with coronavirus

NBA's Karl-Anthony Towns says mom is in coma with coronavirus
Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (L) hasn't played since Feb. 10 due to a fractured left wrist. Photo by C.J. Gunther/EPA

March 25 (UPI) -- Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns held back tears during a video he posted Wednesday on social media, revealing that his mother is in a medically induced coma due to the coronavirus.

The two-time All-Star also asked his 4 million combined social media followers to take every precaution to avoid spreading COVID-19. Towns said his mother, Jacqueline Cruz, is being helped to breath by a ventilator.

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He said his mother and father both felt ill before they went to a hospital to be tested for the coronavirus. His father, Karl Towns Sr., was released, but his mother was not able to leave.

"We can beat this, but this is serious and we need to take every precaution," Towns wrote on the post. "Sharing my story in the hopes that everyone stays at home!

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"We need more equipment and we need to help those medical personnel on the front lines. Thank you to the medical staff who are helping my mom. You are all the true heroes! Praying for all of us at this difficult time."

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The NBA suspended the regular season March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Utah Jazz stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell were among the first known NBA players to have contracted the coronavirus.

"Stay strong Karl. God has got you," Mitchell tweeted to Towns.

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Towns said his mother had a 103-degree temperature and difficulty breathing. He also said her condition was worsening.

"I felt she was turning a corner," Towns said of his mother. "[Then the doctors] said she went sideways. She went sideways quick. Her lungs were getting extremely worse. She was having trouble breathing. They were explaining to me that she had to be put on a ventilator."

At least 10 NBA players have tested positive for the coronavirus. Towns announced March 15 that he was donating $100,000 to Mayo Clinic to help fight the coronavirus. The Mayo Clinic said the donation would help increase coronavirus testing capacity from 200 per day to more than 1,000 tests per day.

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"My mother, she's the strongest woman I know and I know she'll beat this," Towns said. "We're going to rejoice when she does."

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