Karl-Anthony Towns has received his first dose of the COVID vaccine. The 25-year-old NBA player took to Instagram on Tuesday to share a photo of the big moment, days before the first anniversary of his mother’s death.
Town’s mother, Jacqueline Towns, died on April 13, 2020, after a weeks-long battle with COVID-19.
The Minnesota Timberwolves player’s shot of the vaccine shows him raising his thumb toward the camera as he receives his first dose of the vaccine on his left arm. “Shot 1 ✅,” he captioned the photo.
Towns’ family remembered their mother in a statement last year as a woman “who touched everyone she knew.”
“Jackie, as she was affectionately known by family and friends, had been battling the virus for over a month when she succumbed on April 13,” the statement read. “Jackie was many things to many people: wife, mother, daughter, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend.”
“The matriarch of the Towns family, she was an incredible source of strength; a fiery, loving and extremely caring person, who touched everyone she met,” the statement continued. “His passion was palpable and his energy will never be replaced.”
The family has been particularly affected by the virus; Towns and her father contracted COVID-19 last year, but they recovered. However, in addition to his mother, the basketball player said in December that six other relatives had died of complications from the virus, according to ESPN.
“It’s difficult,” Towns said at the time. “I have lost many close family members, people who have raised me, people who have brought me here.”
“I have seen many coffins in the last seven or eight months,” he added. “I have many people who, in my family and in my mother’s family, have become COVID. I am still looking for answers, trying to find how to keep them healthy. It is just a big responsibility for me to keep my family well informed and to do all the movements necessary to keep them alive. “