STUART, Fla. —
A 480-pound Martin County woman has died after emergency workers tried to remove her from the couch where she had remained for about six years.
Woman Stuck To Couch 081104 Gayle Laverne Grinds, 40, died Wednesday, after a failed six-hour effort to dislodge her from the couch in her home. Workers say the home was filthy, and Grinds was too large to get up from the couch to even use the bathroom.
Everyone going inside the home had to wear protective gear. The stench was so powerful they had to blast in fresh air.
A preliminary autopsy on the the four-foot, ten-inch woman lists the cause of death as "morbid obesity." But officials want to know more about the circumstances inside the home.
Investigators say Grinds lived with a man named Herman Thomas, who says he tried to take care of her the best he could. He has told them he tried repeatedly to get her up, but simply couldn't. No charges have been filed, but officials are looking into negligence issues.
Emergency workers had to remove some sliding glass doors and lift the couch, with Grinds still on it, to a trailer behind a pickup truck. Removing her from the couch would be too painful, since her body was grafted to the fabric. After years of staying put, her skin had literally become one with the sofa and had to be surgically removed.
She died at Martin Memorial Hospital South, still attached to the couch.
Neighbors say they had no idea Grinds lived at the duplex, though they had seen Thomas and some children outside.