Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hoarding Couple Found Trapped In Home

May 26, 2010: Hoarding Expert Weighs In On Couples' Squalor Home

By Mike Puccinelli

The two elderly South Side residents who were found under a pile of trash in their home are still recovering in the hospital Wednesday night, while the city's building department waits for a court order to clear the property.

The South Side two-flat is boarded up now, home only to the rodents and roaches left behind. Those panels hide the garbage that built up in the home for years.

It might be tough to understand how someone could live like this, but as CBS 2's Mike Puccinelli reports, it's actually a disorder.

Dr. Pat McGrath, of Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital, is an expert in hoarding.

"What will happen sometimes is that people will have so much stuff in their home that it starts to get unsteady, and if they bump it the wrong way, it collapses on them," said Dr. McGrath. "It has killed people in the past, actually." ..."
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May 26, 2010: Man, Woman Found Living Under Mounds Of Trash

An elderly couple is hospitalized in intensive care Tuesday hanging on to life, after being rescued from their own home.

Police say they were trapped in their own garbage for days, possibly weeks. There are reports they were covered in rodent bites and both were in critical condition when taken to the hospital. It was so severe that firefighters had to don hazmat suits before they could go inside the home in the South Side's Grand Crossing neighborhood.

On Tuesday morning, the stench was still in the air outside the home, at 1508 E. 69th St., from which the couple was removed Monday.

Jesse Gaston, 75, and his wife Thelma, 79, are described as quiet, pleasant and well-liked. She would sing Gospel songs outside her window every Sunday. When her voice went silent, neighbors knew something was very wrong..."
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