An NYPD doctor accused a detective “disabled” by COVID-19 of lying about his symptoms and tried to force him back to work — even though the officer could no longer drive and now needs an oxygen tank, according to a lawsuit.
Before he was diagnosed with coronavirus in March 2020, Ilter Aykac, 37, said he didn’t have any significant medical issues.
“I played sports, I chased down my kids. Carrying stuff wasn’t even an issue,” the married father of three told The Post.
Aykac caught coronavirus on the job, he said, where a handful of colleagues were infected before he was.
He was hospitalized for eight days and told he had two to nine days to live — but was never actually placed on a ventilator because of a shortage of the life-saving machines, according to his legal papers.
The virus left him with lung damage and nearly two years later, the Long Islander can’t carry his son to the car or play soccer with his kids, he said.
“I’ve never been sick before. … Then this thing happened, I got sick, almost died,” the 14-year veteran of the force said.
Yet an NYPD doctor, Leon Eisikowitz, slammed Aykac as a “malingerer,” repeatedly forced him to travel in for appointments in Queens and pressured him to return to work, according to a Manhattan Supreme court lawsuit against the physician and the city.
Eisikowitz refused to approve medical treatments and even sent him to department psychologists after the Manhattan detective complained about the doctor’s behavior, according to the court documents.
Eisikowitz continued to dismiss Aykac’s symptoms, despite his inability to perform a stress test without briefly losing consciousness. In June, Eisikowitz allegedly forced him to walk around a department medical complex in Queens as a test, according to court papers.
“I couldn’t even talk. I started shaking, I almost fell down. I asked for water, he wouldn’t give it to me,” Aykac said. “For 25 minutes I couldn’t get out of my seat.”
Eisikowitz even encouraged Aykac to ignore a cancerous mass on his kidney which had been discovered by another doctor during the course of his treatment, the detective alleges in the legal filing. Aykac eventually had successful surgery to remove the mass.
Aykac said he could have worked from home but Eisikowitz wouldn’t OK the request. When the Suffolk County resident pointed out to the physician that he couldn’t drive, Aykac claims Eisikowitz told him, “That’s not my concern, take Uber.”
The department’s Medical Board eventually approved a 3/4-pay disability pension for Aykac, who said he doesn’t want anyone else to endure the same treatment from Eisikowitz.
“Just because one person scams doesn’t mean everyone scams. I want doctors like Eisikowitz to be gone. They don’t have any respect for human life,” he said.
“If Mr. Aykac followed the instructions of his NYPD District Surgeon, who is solely interested in forcing him back to work at all costs, he would be dead,” attorney John Scola said.
The NYPD declined comment. Eisikowitz didn’t return a message.