Cleanliness and surgery go hand in hand, and we imagine those who operate on us to practice the utmost levels of hygiene. One Philadelphia retired surgeon, however, shocked the world when he was recently featured on TLC's Hoarding:Buried Alive with a roach-infested house. The surgeon’s home had the largest infestation of roaches in the show's history and had the residents of Philadelphia wondering if the surgeon, only referred to as Seymour, had ever performed an operation on them.
Hoarding disorder is a form of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). It affects between two and five percent of the U.S. population. Studies have shown that the disorder is genetically based. A 2006 study showed that genetics played a big part in participants' chances of developing forms of OCD. Those who had a first relative who suffered from a form of OCD were at an increased risk of developing it by 10 to 35 percent.
The retired orthopedic surgeon was ordered to clean up his home or, otherwise, the city of Philadelphia would demolish it. Hoarding, a popular reality television show on TLC, offered to give Seymour both psychological and physical help in regard to cleaning up his home. The first phase of the cleanup operation began with an extermination company to deal with the roach problem. “Steve” of Stephen’s Roach Clean-up in Marlton, N.J., described his impression when first entering the premises.
"In all my years of doing this type of work, nothing freaks me out, but seeing the type of filth that I just witnessed makes my skin crawl. I am so blown away by what I just witnessed that it's something that'll be etched in my mind forever," Steve told the NY Daily News.
Clean-up teams wore bio-hazard suits as they attempted to sort through the mass of roaches in Seymour’s home. The retired surgeon also received psychological and emotional support from the show’s licensed therapist, Liza Reed, during the process.
"I think emotionally seeing things leave his home and seeing how much he had actually brought in there, he began to grieve," Reed said in reference to Seymour.
See the infestation for yourself below: