NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY - Patsy McGowan, 72, has lived in her New Bern apartment for more than 14 years and recently learned she was being evicted. McGowan said she loves her apartment. She doesn't think she can physically pack up and leave.
McGowan has non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer. She is worried about what the next rounds of chemotherapy will do to her health.
"When I had breast cancer, I got where I couldn't walk nor talk, nor bathe myself, and I don't know what this kind of cancer is going to do to me," McGowan said.
She said her eviction is the result of misunderstandings between her and the property manager of Autumn Chase Apartments. McGowan said the property manager is making up stories about her being ugly to the manager.
NewsChannel 12 learned of McGowan's plight through an anonymous tip. A doctor who cares for McGowan sent a letter to try to keep her from being evicted.
During this whole process, McGowan says she has kept every single document -- from her eviction notice to a journal detailing every event that has happened.
We knocked on the property manager's office during normal business hours Thursday but did not receive a response.
After leaving two phone messages at the complex, Excel Property Management in Raleigh, which manages the apartments, called us back. Managers wouldn't comment on the reason for the eviction, but in a statement told us:
"A number of our staff has met with Ms. McGowan on several occasions as well as other interested parties by her. She was granted an extension and we mutually agree to extend her stay until August 31. The owner nor management has any further comment regarding this matter."
North Carolina law says landlords must tell you in advance of an eviction if it is not because of a breach in the rental or lease agreement. Excel Property Management has notified her with more than 30 days notice, and given her an extension on the lease.
McGowan's doctor sent a letter to apartment managers on July 3, asking that she be able to stay at least three or four months until after her chemo has finished. For now McGowan is trusting that "God is going to handle things."
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