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Addiction doctor's 'lifesaving mission' too late to save Prince

A memorial along the fence at Prince's Paisley Park studio/venue.

A memorial along the fence at Prince's Paisley Park studio/venue.

On April 20, the night before Prince died, his reps called Dr. Howard Kornfeld, a California-based opioid addiction expert, the Star Tribune reports

Prince “was dealing with a grave medical emergency,” William Mauzy, a Minneapolis attorney and friend of Kornfeld's, tells the Strib. “The plan was to quickly evaluate his health and devise a treatment plan … the doctor was planning on a lifesaving mission.” 

The hope? To persuade Prince to visit Kornfeld's Recovery Without Walls addiction treatment center in Mill Valley, California, for long-term care under the supervision of Kornfeld, Mauzy says. 

Recovery Without Walls' website advertises its services as "advanced pharmacology, exceptional psychotherapy, nutritional support, and the best of the integrative healing methods." The treatment center specializes in  treating chronic pain and opiate addictions. 

Kornfeld could not clear his schedule, so he sent his son and colleague, Andrew, on a red-eye flight to Minnesota. Andrew Kornfeld brought with him the drug buprenorphine, which curbs opioid cravings. 

Andrew Kornfeld arrived at Prince's Paisley Park compound in Chanhassen at 9:30 a.m. April 21, Mauzy tells the Strib. Minutes later, Andrew Kornfeld and three Paisley staffers discovered Prince's body in an elevator. 

Mauzy reports that Andrew Kornfeld said the others “were in too much shock” to dial 911. So he picked up the phone, telling dispatchers, “We’re at Prince’s house.”

Emergency responders arrived five minutes later. At 10:07 a.m., Prince was pronounced dead. 

Prince's use of painkillers is now the focus of the investigation of his death, sources tell the Star Tribune. Foul play and suicide are not suspected, though authorities are attempting to find out who supplied Prince with pills. 

Autopsy results are pending. 

Sources tell the Strib that Prince was overdosing on opioids prior to his emergency airplane landing April 15 in Moline, Illinois. Paramedics waiting on the ground gave the Minnesota-born music icon a life-saving shot of Narcan, an opioid antidote.