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Premed Student Who Found Prince Pens Essay: ‘Nothing Can Prepare a Person’ for Such Sadness

Not enough words to bring him back. Andrew Kornfeld, the premed student who made headlines after finding Prince at the musician’s Paisley Park abode in Chanhassen, Minnesota, on the day the icon died, penned a touching essay about opioid addiction that he shared via CNN on Friday, June 3.

“I know many of you are eager for details; understandably, you want to know what transpired that day,” the California native wrote. “Believe me, nothing can prepare a person to walk into such chaos and sadness. 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.”

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The Grammy-winning musician was found in an elevator in his compound, and medical personnel were unable to revive him. He was 57.

“But what happened has made me think, long and hard, about what steps we must take to prevent such entirely unnecessary loss of life.”

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Kornfeld went on to detail his upbringing with his father, Howard Kornfeld, the doctor who received a call from Prince’s staffers to help the “Purple Rain” singer with his opioid addiction just days before his death.

As previously reported, the senior Kornfeld was unable to fly out until the next day, and so he sent his son to Minnesota in his place. By the time Howard Kornfeld planned to fly out himself on April 22, it was too late.

Prince performing on September 13, 1984.

The medical examiner’s office released the autopsy report on Thursday, June 2, revealing that the music legend died of an opioid overdose — specifically, “self-administered” fentanyl toxicity.

“Many people become addicted to opioid painkillers because they are prescribed them as treatment for chronic pain conditions,” Andrew continued. “The media reported that Prince was one such patient. But, as media reports over the last several years have made clear, what begins as a ‘harmless’ short-term prescription of opioids can turn into a long-term dependence.”

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The University of California, Santa Cruz graduate — who is currently applying to med school — had buprenorphine in his possession at the time that he found Prince, as previously reported. The prescription drug helps to treat opiate addiction, and was presumably brought to help wean the late pop icon off painkillers.

“I have learned from my father that when a patient is in withdrawal (especially from opioids or benzodiazepines, which reduce anxiety or sleep problems), he or she will experience intense physical symptoms, coupled with feelings of vulnerability and powerlessness,” Andrew wrote in defense of the drug, which his father helped pioneer. “Because buprenorphine helps to eliminate the craving for opioids and reduces the brutal symptoms, it can give the patient the opportunity to develop healthy life habits and healing behaviors, which can readily become entrenched.”

Related: PHOTOS: Prince's Most Iconic Fashion Moments

“[Prince’s] death was a tragedy beyond words. He was an inspiration to so many, and in the brief time I spent in Minnesota, I saw just how good a friend he was to those closest to him,” he continued. “In the weeks that have passed since April 21, I have thought about what might have produced a different outcome. What if his troubles could have been addressed effectively, and much sooner?”

Last month, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Attorney’s Office joined the ongoing investigation into Prince’s death.

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