The athlete is currently spending time in Georgia during the COVID-19 pandemic

By Ashley Boucher
May 15, 2020 06:11 PM
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Dwight Howard
| Credit: Brian Rothmuller/Getty Images

Dwight Howard revealed that the mother of one of his five children tragically died about six weeks ago.

Multiple reporters shared the news of her death after a video conference call with the Los Angeles Lakers player on Friday.

Howard, 34, told reporters that the mother of his 6-year-old son suffered from epilepsy and died after having a seizure, Associated Press reporter Greg Beacham tweeted.

The tragedy, which occurred in the middle of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, has caused the NBA star to "just be grateful for life," ESPN reporter Dave McMenamin shared on Twitter, quoting Howard from the call.

The athlete has been in Georgia with his son, and though he has been social distancing, he was able to attend her funeral.

"I’m not going nowhere. I stay right at home," Howard said on the conference call, USA Today reporter Mark Medina tweeted.

"His focus has been trying to be there for his son, trying to find the words to explain the loss of his mother," Lakers beat reporter Mike Trudell said on Twitter.

Georgia is one of the few states to begin reopening public places and businesses like gyms, salons and churches this month. Governor Brian Kemp's aggressive move has eyes of other state leaders on Georgia to see if the reopening causes a spike in COVID-19 cases or related deaths.

Data showed this week that there has not been an initial spike.

"We continue to see encouraging data as we fight #COVID19 in Georgia," Kemp tweeted Wednesday. "Today we have the lowest number of ventilators in use - 873 - and lowest number of COVID+ patients hospitalized - 1,094 - since hospitals began submitting data to @GeorgiaEMA on April 8."

Reps for Howard and the Lakers did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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