Prince’s doctor arrived with test results only to find him dead

Prince’s doctor arrived with test results only to find him dead

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Minneapolis — A local doctor who had treated Prince twice in recent weeks showed up at the musician’s estate near here on the morning he died, only to discover that he had just been pronounced dead after being found collapsed in an elevator of his home, according to a police affidavit.
The doctor, Michael T. Schulenberg, had seen Prince the previous day, April 20, according to the affidavit, which was filed in connection with a search warrant for Prince’s medical records.The affidavit was filed by an investigator for the sheriff’s office in Carver County, where Prince lived. Dr. Schulenberg, who practices family medicine, also saw Prince on April 7, the day he canceled a show in Atlanta, the warrant said.
During his two visits, Dr. Schulenberg performed tests and prescribed medication for an undisclosed ailment, the affidavit said. Dr. Schulenberg said he had arrived at Prince’s compound to turn over the test results.
The warrant sought medical records from the North Memorial Medical Center, which is part of the health system where Dr. Schulenberg used to work.
Authorities have not released a cause of death, and have said that a determination might be weeks away. But Dr. Schulenberg’s visit makes clear that Prince was actively receiving medical treatment before his death on April 21. He also was preparing to be treated for an opioid dependency from a California doctor, Howard Kornfeld.
The doctor’s son, Andrew Kornfeld, and two friends of Prince initially found him collapsed. Andrew Kornfeld, who works for his father’s treatment center, had rushed on an overnight flight from San Francisco to get Prince enrolled in treatment, according to William Mauzy, a lawyer for the Kornfelds, who said the star’s representatives had sought the help.
Dr. Schulenberg, 46, has been licensed to practice in Minnesota since 1997. He has no disciplinary history, according to state records, and there are no allegations of wrongdoing on his part.
Lesa Bader, a spokeswoman for Dr. Schulenberg’s most recent employer, North Memorial Health Care, said she could not comment on Prince’s treatment because of medical privacy laws. Dr. Schulenberg worked for North Memorial when Prince was found dead but is no longer employed by the medical system. Ms. Bader said the hospital does not comment on personnel matters.
Telephone messages left for Dr. Schulenberg were not returned.
The affidavit lays out Prince’s earlier medical concerns. Kirk Johnson, a close friend, told investigators the star had visited another local hospital in 2014 or 2015 for an undisclosed illness. Mr. Johnson said Prince had received fluids during his visit.
It is unclear what medications Prince was taking, but people close to him have said he suffered debilitating pain in his hips and elsewhere from decades of intense performances. Authorities have said they are investigating what role painkillers might have played in his death.
The federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States attorney’s office in Minneapolis have joined the inquiry.
After postponing the April 7 show in Atlanta because he said he had the flu, he did a makeup performance the following week that observers described as electrifying. But Prince complained of stomach pains after the concert. And on his flight home, his private jet had to make an emergency landing in Moline, Ill., because he fell ill.
His publicist said the emergency landing was a result of the flu. But emergency records showed that the pilot radioed that an unresponsive passenger was on board. Prince was carried off the plane by his bodyguard, the records said. Emergency medical personnel treated him with Narcan, which is typically administered to treat opioid overdoses, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the case. The official also said that Prince had powerful painkillers on him when he was found dead.
Despite the medical scare, Prince was seen out and about afterward near his Paisley Park estate in Chanhassen, Minn., a suburb here. He hosted a party at the estate on the Saturday before his death. And two days before he was found, he was at a jazz club in Minneapolis taking in a show. – NYT

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