Karl-Anthony Towns revealed in an emotional Instagram post that his mother has tested positive for the coronavirus and is in a coma, imploring people to follow the advice of medical professionals to stay in their homes and practice social distancing.
The Minnesota Timberwolves star posted the update in the early morning hours on Wednesday, telling fans that he wanted to share his family's story to help people understand the severity of the virus. Towns explained that he learned last week that both his mother and father were not feeling well and advised them to go to the hospital. He noted that his father was released to go into quarantine, but his mother remained in the hospital.
Towns shared that her fever had not gone down and that her breathing grew worse as she remained hospitalized.
"She was deteriorating," he said, noting that none of the medications given to her had worked.
After it appeared she was starting to turn a corner in her recovery this week, Towns said her condition "went sideways" quickly and that she was having increased trouble breathing. She was placed on a ventilator and put into a medically induced coma, he said.
Towns said he wanted to share the story to help people understand the importance of heeding the advice of medical professionals to remain at home as much as possible and away from people. COVID-19 is spread through direct contact, and medical experts have told people to stay six feet away from others at all times when out and about, and to avoid group settings.
"This disease is not to be taken lightly," Towns said, adding that he and his family were going to keep fighting, and he was confident his mother would recover.
The NBA was one of the first major sports closures in the United States, announcing on March 11 that it would be suspending its season indefinitely. The decision came after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive, leading to a cancellation of the team's game just before tipoff. That prompted nearly all other major American sports leagues to either postpone play, or delay the start of the season in the case of Major League Baseball.A number of other NBA players have since tested positive for the novel coronavirus, including Gobert's Utah Jazz teammate Donovan Mitchell. It was not clear yet when the league could resume play, but experts have warned that it could take several months of strict social distancing efforts before it would be safe to return to some level of normal.