Distressed mum trapped in filthy home with dead mouse due to agonising degenerative disease
Single mum Lisa lives in a dirty house covered in grime with unwanted filthy surprises at every turn.
The 39-year-old feels trapped inside her own messy three-bedroom home in Bedford which she shares with her two sons and cat.
"I would describe my home as claustrophobic for me. I'm embarrassed. Having my house the way it is is really depressing for me," admits Lisa on tonight's Filthy House SOS.
But it wasn't always this way, as the unemployed mum used to work in a primary school before her life was turned upside down by a devastating diagnosis.
Three years ago, Lisa's health started to decline - with pains in her hands, spine damage, relentless fatigue and being left in agony all over her body.
"That constant pain and having to fight through the day has made it so I can't work anymore but I can't accept I'm not active like I used to be and I have to ask for help," she heartbreakingly explains.
Lisa was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and now lives with severely impeded mobility, making everyday household cleaning virtually impossible.
She wants nothing more than to have a homely environment to bring up her two sons and to feel confident inviting friends round, but her home has been overcome with disorder and chaos.
With no motivation and no hope of turning things around, tearful Lisa heartbreakingly confesses she's not managing and needs help.
Luckily, the Filthy House SOS team are on hand to help, but elite house cleaners Richard and Brennan immediately realise they're going to have their work cut out for them.
Before they even enter the house they notice tell-tale signs of neglect, including mould on the windowsills.
When they enter the kitchen they're greeted with all encompassing mess and bizarrely a vast array of unorganised cleaning products which are not being used properly.
The sink drainer and oven are filthy, but they are most concerned about car hair in the fridge.
Disgusted Brennan finds a jar of curd which is a staggering eight years out of date as he rummages through the cupboards.
The kitchen is a major health hazard and the worst find of them all is a pot of gravy granules which are over a decade past their use by date.
The further they dig the more they discover and Lisa needs to see the shocking full extent to get a wake up call.
"My first thoughts in going in the kitchen was utter shock," admits Lisa. "I was quite stressed to be honest about the utter scale. I didn't know what to say.
Next up is the living room, which is being taken over by mountains of mess and smell due to cat urine on the carpet.
Richard notices that the problem areas are around corners and places that are hard to reach.
Explaining how her condition impacts her life, Lisa heartbreakingly confesses: "It makes me feel lazy and not worth anything. My mobility has decreased so much in the last couple of years.
"When I was first diagnosed it was just my fingers hurting in the morning but now everything hurst and I feel unwell all the time."
While the bathroom is the smallest room in the house it's also probably the filthiest as there is more evidence of mould and grime around the bath and on exposed pipes.
"It looks like Lisa can't bend down and get into corners to clean so we need a solution for her to get into those hard to reach places," says Richard.
Usually a place of solace and calm, the bedroom is anything but as it's covered in dust and packed full of clothes as there isn't even a wardrobe.
Over the course of three emotional days, Richard and Brennan set to work clearing and cleaning, transforming Lisa’s home into a space that’s fit for her her boys and her friends when they come to visit.
They start by ordering a skip as at least half of the contents of her house need to go and crack on with getting rid of the dust from the carpets and all the old food from the kitchen.
Unlike many participants in the show, Lisa is raring to go and more than willing to get rid of all her old clutter.
But Brennan gets a nasty surprise when he lifts up the fridge and finds a rotting mouse underneath.
There's an emotional chat to be had in the bedroom when Richard explains that it represents Lisa having given up.
Having confronted her insecurities it proves to be a huge turning point and she vows to start putting herself first.
As well as cleaning the entire house, Richard and Brennan also leave Lisa with the knowledge and methods to prevent her home falling into such a state again.
To make it easier for Lisa to clean with her condition, they teach her a trick to clean the bathroom tiles with a mop and make a dust-busting device with a microfibre cloth attached to an old coat hanger.
After three tough emotional days they finally manage to transform the filth-ridden house into a lovely family home.
The kitchen has clean clear surfaces, easy to access food and a gleaming sink, while the living room becomes a calm space after a much-needed facelift.
The bedroom is completely reimagined and Lisa finally has a relaxing space to unwind and recharge.
Bursting into tears, Lisa says: "This room is unrecognisable. It doesn't just look completely different it feels so different."
Thanking the boys, she adds: "I don't know how I'm ever going to thank you. You haven't just cleaned my home you've changed it to suit my needs.
"You've brought my personality out into my home and made it somewhere I want to be."
*Filthy House SOS airs Wednesdays on 5Star at 9pm
Reference: Mirror: Kyle O'Sullivan
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