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Nicholas met Prudence at the hospital two days later. Ignored and untreated, Prudence fought for her life in an empty room as her now-dead fetus rotted inside her swollen body. As she became weaker, Nicholas says it was clear she needed a blood transfusion to save her life. "There were two people with compatible blood types, me and my cameraman," he says. "We rolled up our sleeves."

Prudence wasn't in the clear yet—she needed an emergency Caesarean section to remove the decaying baby now poisoning her body. The doctor refused to operate without $100. "The family had no money whatsoever. So we chipped in ourselves, and it looked like it might actually be about to begin," Nicholas says. But at 10:15 p.m. that night, the doctor vanished. Nurses told Nicholas he had left for the night.

The next morning, Nicholas found Prudence lying in her own vomit, her urine bag overflowing. The doctor had performed the operation, but she slipped into a coma as infection raged through her body. She had been given no antibiotics. "Her case particularly moved me because I was there and my blood was in her veins," Nicholas says. "I thought maybe she would pull through, but her ferocious will to live wasn't enough. Prudence Lemokoumo, rest in peace."

FROM: George Clooney, Ben Affleck, Demi Moore and Hillary Clinton
Published on December 01, 2009

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