Extreme Hoarders Buried Under Their Own Trash

A seemingly normal couple was trapped under their own trash for three weeks and nearly died. This extreme case of hoarding shocked friends and relatives. INSIDE EDITION gets a look at the conditions the couple was living in.

It's a heartbreaking and disturbing sight of a couple's home completely filled with a mountain of garbage. It may be the worst case of hoarding ever.

The homeowners were just rescued from the squalor after being trapped for three weeks under their own junk.

From the outside, Jesse and Thelma Gaston's home on Chicago's south side looks quaint, but a few steps onto their property, and you can see that something is terribly wrong.

The couple's backyard is overflowing with piles of garbage and old plastic furniture. Every inch of their garage is so tightly crammed with useless stuff you can't even walk inside.

Trash spills out onto their front porch where there's an old refrigerator atop the mess.

But that's nothing compared to the disgusting kitchen. A heap of clothes and appliances in rotting boxes fill the room. The floor is completely covered in filth. Shoes and boots are scattered among old mustard containers and moldy orange juice cartons.

INSIDE EDITION was there as the couple's worried family members saw the horrific conditions for the first time. They couldn't get past the overpowering stench.

"Oh my God, I can't go in," said one relative.

They said they are shocked to learn that their relatives are hoarders. Jesse Gaston is a retired zoologist and his wife, Thelma was once a singer.

Dr. David Tolin, the host of Vh-1's new show The OCD Project, said, "This is about as bad as it gets. It's not just being messy, it's really a breakdown in functioning caused by the accumulation of all this stuff."

Extreme hoarding like this is already the subject of two TV series, Hoarders and Buried Alive.  Now, this couple is lucky to be alive after being trapped in their own trash.