Man Who Found Prince Dead Speaks Out on the 'Chaos and Sadness' of His Death
By Sophie Schillaci
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The man who found Prince dead is opening up about that earth-shattering day.
"I know many of you are eager for details; understandably, you want to know what transpired that day," Andrew Kornfeld -- a 2013 graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, who studied neuroscience and psychology -- writes in an op-ed for CNN. "Believe me, nothing can prepare a person to walk into such chaos and sadness."
Kornfeld, the son of California-based addiction specialist Howard Kornfeld, MD, says that he had traveled to Minnesota in an effort to "help Prince find the road to recovery." Kornfeld currently works with his father at the Mill Valley, California, addiction outpatient clinic, Recovery Without Walls, and says he is preparing to apply to medical school.
"As I told the 911 dispatcher on April 21, those on the scene were distraught, which was why I was the one to place the call," Kornfeld writes. "But what happened has made me think, long and hard, about what steps we must take to prevent such entirely unnecessary loss of life."
Kornfeld elaborates on what he believes to be the most common causes and treatments for addiction, noting that an average of 77 people per day -- or 28,000 per year -- die from opiod dependence and addiction in the U.S.
According to Kornfeld, his father was among a group of physicians to work on a medication called buprenorphine, which he says reduces the likelihood of relapse, diminishes the chances of overdose, and helps to "eliminate the craving for opiods."
"Unfortunately, the timely care Prince may have needed, based on the medical examiner's report, has been difficult to obtain in Minnesota, and in many states in our nation," he says. "According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, there are 120 buprenorphine prescribers in the state, roughly 2.2 physicians certified to prescribe the drug, per 100,000 persons -- not nearly enough."
Kornfeld concludes on a somber note, speculating on how his father's treatment may have changed the singer's life.
"It is easy to find yourself caught in a web of pain, and difficult to escape. I know this. So do many of my father's patients, treated with buprenorphine, who have mustered the energy and the courage to come join me as we paddle surfboards in the chilly waters off of Northern California's coastline, the sunlight near the horizon interrupted occasionally as near-perfect waves roll in," he writes. "What if my father and I had been able to reach Prince just a week earlier, like so many others we have helped take back their lives? Prince could have been here, standing on the beach beside me."
Shortly after Prince's death, his longtime friend and onetime fiancee, Sheila E., got candid with ET about the physical pain that the superstar was in.
"I mean, you think about all the years he was jumping off those risers," she recalled. "They were not low -- they were very, very high -- and to jump off that ... First of all, the Purple Rain tour and the way that they were stacked, he had those heels on. We did a year of touring [and] for him to jump off of that -- just an entire year would have messed up his knees."
"He was in pain all the time, but he was a performer," she added. See the interview below.