Karl-Anthony Towns Says Mother's Death from COVID Complications 'Hurts So Bad' Every Day
In a new YouTube video titled "The Toughest Year of My Life," the 24-year-old Minnesota Timberwolves star was interviewed by Natalie Manuel Lee, explaining that he made the difficult decision to "pull the plug" on his mom, who died on April 13 at age 59 from COVID-19 complications after spending weeks in a coma.
An emotional Karl-Anthony recalled that he had to call his family members to notify them of his heartbreaking decision, including Jacqueline's sisters and her mother.
"The worst call, the most difficult one, it was calling her mom," the athlete tearfully said. "It was calling my grandmother. Telling her, mostly, you lost your daughter. I done everything as a grandson I could do to protect her, I got to let her go. There's nothing worse than losing your kid."
Before Jacqueline died, Karl-Anthony allowed family members to call in remotely and say their goodbyes.
"I had the iPad still on, so I gave her family, I gave them all a chance to say goodbye to them personally," he said. "I hadn't pulled the plug yet, I wanted her to live and give people the respect that they deserved in her life to say goodbye personally."
"At that moment, I pulled the plug, and I just let her pass," the NBA star recalled in tears. "They told me, 'She may be alive for another hour, maybe two, but she's been fighting for a long time.' They pulled the plug, and in 25 [minutes] she was gone."
Karl-Anthony said that as his mother died, he and other family members, including his sister, were laughing and sharing stories. "She was sent off with laughter," he said. "That just hurts. It hurts so bad. Every day."
Nearly seven months since Jacqueline's death, Karl-Anthony said in the interview that he is still learning how to cope without his mom.
"I think for me, I think if I was to say how am I coping and how am I healing from this, I'm trying to heal myself through others," he said.
"I'm trying to do as much as I can for my sister and my father. Trying to take care of my friends and I'm trying to heal myself through them," Karl-Anthony said. "It's helped, but I think that one day, and I know it's creeping up — I feel it every day, it's gonna creep up and I'm going to have to find a way to deal with it, actually. That's why I wanted to do this [interview]. I thought this would be therapeutic for me to admit that these things are real and how I feel is real and being able to try to find some normalcy."
He added, "Life is a game and I'm just playing one chess piece at a time."
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