Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Hoarder battling cancer can't get upstairs and a roast dinner is rotting in oven

When Susan moved into her detached Kent home with her two sons in 2002, it was completely empty and spotless.

Fast forward 17 years and the 64-year-old has to climb over piles of rubbish, clothes, magazines and electrical goods just to get into her home.

She hasn't been able to go upstairs – or sleep in her bed – for 10 years and her sofa is under at least four feet of junk.

Susan hasn't been able to cook, or even get into, her kitchen for years and her three spare bedrooms are full to bursting with her not being able to step into them for more than a decade.

Both her bathroom and downstairs toilet are also so full of junk that they too havebeen out of bounds for years.

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The mum-of-two said: "I moved in when my boys were 16 and 22 and it was completely bare but 17 years later that's completely changed."

Susan admits her extreme hoarding has caused issues with her family as her sons and grandchildren can no longer visit because they can't get into her home.

She said: "It doesn't suit me to be a hoarder. I want to see my grandchildren and my sons, I want to be part of their lives.

"My husband left me and I started feathering my nest because I didn't want to be short of anything and I went a bit over the top.

"I started with the shopping channel and it gave me a boost and a release and then every day I was ordering something else."

But now she's facing an even bigger challenge.

Susan has been diagnosed with cancer and desperately needs a safe and homely space for her to rest and recuperate after her treatment.

She said: "I was diagnosed with cancer in April and I'm just very tired all the time."

Susan is having radiotherapy and hopes to start chemotherapy soon.

But as she's currently forced to sleep in her living room on a mountain of rubbish and several feet in the air, she desperately needs to be able to get to her bedroom.

Susan hates being in her hoarder's home so much she leaves first thing in the morning, as soon as she gets up, and heads to a supermarket.

She spends all day wandering between supermarkets and is forced to wash in their bathrooms.

Susan has even stayed out, sitting in dark and cold supermarkets, until 2am because she can't face going home.

Channel 5's Hoarders: Landfill In My Living Room have recruited the expert help of the Declutter Divas, who will transform Susan's home from a hoarder's hell into a tidy temple.

First they tackle the garden, which is full of unwanted purchases, including a table containing the mummified corpse of a rate.

Next comes the living room, which can only be accessed by climbing over piles of rubbish stacked high next to the back door.

A family of mice have taken up home in a never worn pair of shoes and eaten their way through clothes piled high as they snack on the rotting food under the mess.

Drowned mice fill the toilets in the bathrooms Susan hasn't been able to use for years.

But the worst of the mess is saved for the kitchen, which is piled so high with clothes, trinkets and other goods it's impossible to tell which room it is.

And when it's finally clear, the Declutter Divas find a roast dinner rotting in the over.

Both the fridge and freezer and stacked full of rotting food.

Finally, the house is clear and Susan can use her front door for the first time un years.

She has a sofa once again, a kitchen she can cook in, and most importantly get upstairs and sleep in her own bed.

A delighted Susan said: "It feels like home again. I want to reclaim my family."

  • Hoarders: Landfill In My Living Room is on Channel 5 at 9pm tonight.
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