Rao Nagaoka was hospitalized on January 27 with COVID, after being found on the floor of his ground floor on the fifth floor, crying for help. As his condition improved, the 60-year-old was transferred to a rehabilitation center to help him regain strength in his legs.
On Wednesday, Nagaoka returned home. When he went to use his key to open his door, it didn’t work – the locks had been changed. When the building manager finally arrived to open the door, all that was left was a piano and a few other things.
“It’s like a nightmare, frankly, yeah,” he told NBC New York.
Records show the building is partly owned by mega investor Barbara Corcoran as well as former MLB star Alex Rodriguez. In a statement, Corcoran said that “given the deteriorating health of Mr. Nagaoka, the condition of his apartment has become a clear danger to the health of the rest of the residents of the building. ”
A neighbor said he saw crews pass through Nagaoka’s apartment.
“It looked like things were going to the landfill. They were not things handled with care, ”said the man who did not want to be identified. “I don’t think it’s worth throwing out somebody’s whole life, with documents and everything. ”
What was spared was Nagaoka’s pet turtle, which was taken care of by the super. The animal, whose name means “Mr. Turtle ”in Japanese, was the only other property returned to Nagaoka. He said they told him they had “no idea” where his other belongings were.
Corcoran’s statement also stated that the management company had completely renovated the apartment, which appeared to be true. A new stove and refrigerator were seen in the kitchen, and Nagaoka said they painted the walls and repaired holes in her ceiling.
However, he currently does not have running water in his bathroom and has been told to wait until Monday to use the shower.
Despite his losses, the neighbors caught up with him with their generosity by bringing him donated goods. Another neighbor started a GoFundMe page, which has already raised over $ 35,000 – Corcoran itself being a major donor.