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COVID-19 took millions of lives across the globes, leaving countless families grieving. One of the people significantly impacted by the novel virus is NBA player Karl Anthony Towns. Not only did he battle the virus himself, but he also lost eight family members to it including his mother, Jacqueline Cruz-Towns.

Towns recently appeared on Taraji P. Henson’s Facebook Watch series, Peace of Mind With Taraji, and opened up about how devastating it was to watch her fight COVID-19 and ultimately pass away.

“It was difficult because as her son and someone who loves her so dearly, I just didn’t want to see her in pain so I was trying to do everything possible to make her comfortable, and get her better quicker,” he said. “I was doing everything in my power. COVID causes a lot of swelling, and the swelling is what got my mom.”

He added the his girlfriend, Jordyn Woods was a major support to him during that heartbreaking time. Woods understood his pain because she had lost her father as well in 2017 to cancer.

“A woman that meant so much to me in my life left my life to be replaced by another woman to take that spot,” the Minnesota Timberwolves player said about Woods. “We were best friends … When my mom passed she was like, ‘I’m not going to leave you alone. I’m going to make sure you know who you’re supposed to be with.’”

He added, “I leaned on her because she’s one of the only people who would actually know how I was feeling and what I was going through because she was super close with her father just like I was super close with my mother.”

While going through that tough time, Towns and Woods grew from being best friends to lovers.

“It just so happened, the COVID came and kind of brought its challenges and it kind of forced us to either pick where our relationship was going to go as friends or something more,” Towns said in September 2021 on Woods’s IG show Regular-ish. “And we chose the latter.”

Watch Towns’s appearance on Peace of Mind With Taraji here.

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