(NEW YORK) — Singer Judith Hill was one of two people with Prince April 15 when the late music legend’s plane had to make an emergency landing because he’d lost consciousness. Now she’s telling her story of that night to The New York Times.
“His eyes just fixed,” the former The Voice contestant and Prince protege tells the paper. She was dining with Prince on the private plane, talking about music and the solo concert Prince had just finished in Atlanta when he lost consciousness. “Thankfully, I happened to be looking into his face.”
Hill says she and the other passenger, Prince’s aide Kirk Johnson, unsuccessfully tried to rouse the singer.
“We knew it was only a matter of time; we had to get down,” she says. “We didn’t have anything on the plane to help him.”
The plane made an emergency landing in Moline, Illinois, where paramedics administered a shot of Narcan, a medication used to treat opioid overdoses. By the time the trio reached the hospital, Hill says, Prince was awake and talking.
Hill says Prince wanted to leave the hospital but agreed to stay overnight with Hill and Johnson by his side.
“He was very cooperative that whole night,” she said, “serious about getting help.” In fact, Hill says, after the airplane incident Prince went to a local doctor for tests. “He did it because he was concerned, and he wanted to do the right thing for his own body,” she said, noting like others close to the singer, that before the airplane incident she had no knowledge of his problems. “And that’s the part that breaks my heart, because he was trying. He was trying.”
Prince died April 21, less than a week after the plane ride, from an overdose of the painkiller fentanyl.
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