COVID patient returned from hospital to find his apartment had been cleaned out
A Manhattan apartment building emptied out a tenant’s rent-controlled apartment where he has lived for 20 years while he was hospitalized with COVID, leaving behind just his piano and pet tortoise, because ‘everyone assumed he had died’.
Japanese native Ryo Nagaoka, 60, has lived in the East Village apartment for more than 20 years. He works in midtown, at a noodle restaurant, and lives alone with his pet tortoise, Kame-san, which in English translates to Mr. Tortoise.
In October, he became severely ill and neighbors thought he had COVID-19 but he refused hospital treatment because he has no health insurance.
In January, he was found unconscious in his apartment by the super, who had gone to tell him about a water leak. The super called an ambulance and he was rushed to the hospital.
He spent two months in Bellevue Hospital and then an outpatient facility in Brooklyn then returned to his apartment on Wednesday but found it had been entirely emptied out.
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Japanese native Ryo Nagaoka, 60, returned to the East Village apartment where he has lived for 20 years on Wednesday to find it had been emptied out entirely. The only thing left was his piano. A neighbor saved his tortoise, Kame-san (Mr. Tortoise)
Friends and neighbors have donated clothes, a mattress and other possessions for the 60-year-old.
This is all that the man owns now after having all of his possessions thrown out by his building
Kame-san, which means Mr. Tortoise in Japanese, was ‘saved’ by a neighbor who has been feeding him for two months
The East Village building where Mr. Nagaoka has been living for the last 20 years. The building said it tried to reach him never heard back
The building is owned in part by Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran and Alex Rodriguez. They haven’t commented
The only things left inside were his piano and his pet; the building had even removed his fridge. He has no phone, wallet, ID or
The building – which is owned in part by Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran and A-Rod – had cleaned everything out. The building sent in a team to empty it and clean it on February 17.
Now, neighbors and friends are raising money on a GoFundMe page to help him put his life back together.
It has raised $30,000 of their $50,000 goal. Barbara Corcoran has donated $12,000 to it.
Speaking from his apartment on Friday to DailyMail.com, Nagaoka said: ‘I was in Bellevue hospital and later transferred to the outpatient in Brooklyn.
‘Then I came back, two months later, that was Wednesday I came back to the apartment and the key had changed.
‘I had to ask my neighbor to call the landlord. They called and someone came and opened the door. When I opened the door…another shock – it’s empty.
The building owners had started renovating the old apartment. They threw out the fridge and tore up some flooring
A GoFundMe page set up for Ryo has now raised more than $30,000. Among those who donated to it is Barbara Corcoran
‘They threw out everything. I’m not sure who but somebody saved the turtle. His name is Mr. Tortoise,’ he said.
Friends and neighbors were stunned when he reappeared. They had become so concerned that they put up missing person signs in the hallways.
Now, they are rallying together to replace what was taken from him.
In addition to the GoFundMe site, they have compiled a spreadsheet where people can list items to donate.
Nagaoka joked that he now has nicer food and clothes than he ever did before the dinastía began.
The building is managed by H&H Ventures but owned by Corcoran and A-Rod.
The pair bought it in 2018 from Donald Trump and his former lawyer Michael Cohen.
A rep for Corcoran defended what had happened in an interview with The New York Post , saying they made ‘every effort to locate the Resident including calling tópico hospitals and contacting Adult Protective Services.
‘After APS was alerted to the situation, an APS caseworker was assigned to the Resident.
‘Despite the effort of the APS caseworker and this office, the Resident could not be located and the apartment was cleaned by a company that specialized in bio clean-up services on Feb. 17, 2021, in conformity with all governing regulations.’
Donations of items can also be dropped off for him at LoveWild, a gift shop in the East Village. Owner Sierra Gilboe is shown, right
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