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bijou
05-25-2010, 04:44 PM
David O'Neal hadn't seen his sister for six to eight years.

Then Monday night, her neighbor called him with unbelievable news: Thelma Gaston and her husband Jesse --- both in their 70s -- had been found buried alive under mounds of trash and debris in their Grand Crossing home, possibly for as long as three weeks.

"I was surprised. I wanted to come to Chicago as soon as possible," said O'Neal, who lives in the Seattle area. "I love and care about her."
A fire official on the scene said the couple had not been heard from for three weeks, and Thelma Gaston, 75, had injuries that resembled rat bites. Both she and Jesse Gaston, 76, were taken to Jackson Park Hospital in critical condition, but a nurse there said this morning their conditions were improved, though they still were in intensive care.

Thelma Gaston may have fallen through the debris and become trapped. When her husband tried to come to her aid, he apparently became trapped as well, according to Fire Department spokesman Kevin MacGregor.

The Gastons' neighbors shared O'Neal's shock. They rarely saw the couple -- Thelma, a retired school teacher, and Jesse a retired zoologist.

"It just brought me to tears to see the condition they were found in," said next-door neighbor Reola Valentne, 59, who called 311 about 4 p.m. Monday and asked for a well-being check that led to their discovery.

She said she didn't know the couple, but had not seen the man mowing his lawn for quite some time and saw that his gray truck parked outside was accumulating parking tickets.

Over the last few weeks, she said, various people came to their door and, when their knocking went unanswered, frequently came to her to ask if she knew anything. ... link (http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2010/05/elderly-couple-trapped-weeks-in-mound-of-debris.html?loc=interstitialskip)
This is such a difficult problem to solve, people in this situation rarely seek help. Now I must throw some stuff away.

Gingersnap
05-25-2010, 05:09 PM
http://i49.tinypic.com/jl7b47.jpg

I don't know what you do about it, either. Part of the problem of being all non-judgmental is that a lot of people just get left to their own devices. Their friends don't feel like they can discuss it so they end up just avoiding the situation. :(

Megaguns91
05-25-2010, 05:15 PM
Failure to thrive. I've heard horror stories from my EMTs about hoarders and particularly older folks who've let their living area go like that.

Articulate_Ape
05-25-2010, 05:54 PM
That's how Ginger is gonna go out, just so the cosmic laws of irony remain in balance.

Gingersnap
05-25-2010, 05:59 PM
That's how Ginger is gonna go out, just so the cosmic laws of irony remain in balance.

You're just mad because I posted your Captian America burrito pic. :p

Articulate_Ape
05-25-2010, 06:03 PM
You're just mad because I posted your Captian America burrito pic. :p

Meh, I'm just surprised that your hands were steady enough to take it after having been groped.

Gingersnap
05-25-2010, 08:32 PM
Meh, I'm just surprised that your hands were steady enough to take it after having been groped.

It's true that I had a certain level of adrenaline rush after painting your face with bear spray but the Mojitos offered to me by other witnesses took care of that pretty quickly.