Campbell: we have some breaking news to share with you now on Michael Jackson’s medical condition on the days before he died. A nurse practitioner whose specialty includes nutritional counseling says that Jackson suffered from insomnia and he had begged her to inject him with a powerful sedative. That nurse is Cherilyn Lee and joining us right now by telephone. Welcome to you.
Cherilyn Lee: oh, thank you very much, thank you.
Campbell: appreciate you talking to us about this. I want you to start by telling us about this phone call that you got. This was two Sundays ago, June 21st, from a member of Michael Jackson’s staff. What happened?
Cherilyn Lee: well, I received a call, I was in Florida. And unfortunately, I was actually in the hospital myself in the E.R. in Florida. And I received the call and I could hear Mr. Jackson in the background saying please have her come see me now. Can she come now? And the person in on the other end, which I know the person, but I’d prefer not to give out their names. Because they know me quite well said that Mr. Jackson really, really needs you. He is experiencing - they told me the symptoms and I said that is very serious, you need to go to the hospital. Unfortunately I’m not in town so I cannot come and see you. But you need to go to the hospital. I’m very - I was really afraid because of the symptoms he was telling me.
Campbell: what were those symptoms?
Cherilyn Lee: the symptoms were one side of his body felt cold and one side of his body felt hot.
Campbell: and what did that mean to you?
Cherilyn Lee: well, that meant - it could have meant a couple of things. It could have meant something going on in the nervous system, or something cardiovascular, but more than nervous system because of the brain itself. and I had already gone through - I think this is why he was reaching out for me Sunday because I had already about three months ago went through all of the symptoms this medication that he wanted that his doctor told him and I don't know who his doctor is. His doctor told him that this was safe.
Campbell: and you were talking - I’m sorry, go ahead.
Cherilyn Lee: I’m sorry.
Campbell: no, you're talking about just correct me if I’m wrong, you're talking about that drug called dipervan, is that correct?
Cherilyn Lee: yes
Campbell: and was he asking you for the drug?
Cherilyn Lee: he was asking me for the drug. And he was asking me about it three months ago and I said I don't know what that is so I excused myself from where he was, and I made a call to a friend who was a physician and I said what is? At first I thought he was mispronouncing it. Are you speaking of something else? He said no. and when I spoke with the physician he said that is a very - you do not - he asked me, he said who is asking about this drug? This is a medication you only really give in ICU.
Campbell: and it's a sedative, a painkiller?
Cherilyn Lee: it is a - you know, still I don't want to go into a whole lot of detail with it. It’s in the PDR, I sat down with Michael and I said I actually left him that day because he didn't understand. He kept thinking this was safe. I went all the way back to my office, went back to him and said, look. This medication is not safe. I don't know who is telling you this is safe. It isn't. He said I just want to get some sleep. You don't understand. I want the IV when it drips in my hand; I want to be able to be knocked out and go to sleep. And this was the very first time, even though we had discussed this before that I told him, you know, it is so painful because I actually felt it in my whole spirit. I said if you take that, you know, you want to be knocked out, and I’m so sorry but if you take this you might not wake up.
Campbell: do you know if he took your advice? Did he go to the hospital? Was there any way to follow-up?
Cherilyn Lee: what happened was, I was actually at the hospital myself. I was in the emergency room in St. Petersburg. And was being admitted myself. So I tried to call back later and I could not reach anyone. And I was - I was in Florida for a couple of days there. When I arrived back in L.A., I still was trying to reach, you know, I could not reach anyone. So I didn't know whether or not he had gone.
Campbell: did you go to the authorities with any of this?
Cherilyn Lee: no
Campbell: did you think about doing that?
Cherilyn Lee: well, when I saw it on the news I kind of felt I knew what happened. And I just didn't really - I really didn't know what to do. I was saddened; I heard there was a physician there.
Campbell: do you know - do you know if there was a doctor who may have given him this drug?
Cherilyn Lee: I don't know of any doctors. I don't know of anyone that was seeing him. He just told me - because I asked him, what doctor gave him this drug, 'oh it was a long time ago.
Campbell: so just to give a sense of your relationship with him, how long had you known him, what was the relationship?
Cherilyn Lee: well I met him in January. And because someone called me and said his children had a runny nose and a little cough and could I come out to the house and see them. And because it was a referral person he felt very comfortable. And so when I arrived at the house I saw three children. And actually I love working with children and I kind of set something up for them some vitamin c and, you know, as a practitioner I listened to their lungs to make sure they were clear and went ahead and did the routine physical exam and everything. And after I finished with the children and had given them some vitamin c that they had, you know, the vitamin c powder and a couple of other things, it's a homeopathic; they told their dad they were feeling a lot better. So he looked at me and said what else do you do? And so I said well I help people, you know, when they want to very more energy. And he said, oh, well, okay, that's really good. And so we start taking it from there and I try to find out why is it you don't have any energy? And just went through the whole course of, you know, not that day. He asked me if I could come back the following day. So I went and drew some blood, maybe you're anemic or maybe it's this or that, but let's not second guess anything. I did full lab work. A full work-up on him. Then I told him from there that nutritionally we could get you set up.
Campbell: right. And his doctor was also working with him presumably yet? Dr. Murray.
Cherilyn Lee: I don't know. I didn't see anybody. I didn't see anybody in January. February, March, there was a time he did go to London, so -he was out. But I never heard of a doctor, I never did see anyone.
Campbell: all right.
Cherilyn Lee: I told him I prefer to do continuity of care with someone. And I didn't see anyone.