BY the time he got to King/Drew, Oluchi McDonald was in such unbearable pain that a nurse described it as 10 on a 10-point scale.
It had begun that morning, March 12, 2003, when he awoke with a stomachache unlike anything he had ever felt, says his roommate, Ben Kutsko.
The two young men, childhood friends from Boulder, Colo., shared an apartment near Los Angeles City College and had spent the night before as they often did, hanging out and watching old movies.
Kutsko took McDonald to a private hospital, which transferred him to King/Drew after learning that he had no health insurance.
At King/Drew, it was six hours before he received pain medication, nearly eight hours before he was admitted to the hospital and 17 hours before he was found on the floor, unconscious, in a pool of his own vomit, a federal investigation found.