John was born in Moscow in 1990. He was removed from his parents aged 18 months and sent to an orphanage, where he was classified as incurably disabled. Despite having a lively mind and fluent speech, he was consigned to a mental institution where he spent 10 months before being rescued.
In 1999 he was adopted and moved to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, taking the name John Lahutsky.
His memoir, The Boy From Baby House 10, was published by Phoenix in 2010.
THE BOY FROM BABY HOUSE 10
Vanya is bright, inquisitive four-year-old with tousled black curls and a permanent grin. He doesn’t know what the sun is. But Vanya is not stupid. He has not been beyond the four bare walls of his dormitory in a Russian orphanage for two years. During his time in the orphanage Vanya is neglected – starved of love, nourishment and stimulation. Finally, he is sent to an asylum – an underworld where children are left naked on a bare cots for 24 hours a day. But no matter what abuses he endured, Vanya’s spirit was unquenchable. He never stopped reaching out to the people around him: other children he saw were giving up, the carers he inspired to fight the inexorable cruelty of the Soviet system and at last, across an ocean to the woman who would become his mother. Vanya’s capacity for love saved his life, against all the odds.
PUBLICATION DATE: 25 Nov 2010