This is the affecting true story of a remarkable young boy named John Lahutsky. John, born in Russia in 1990, was afflicted with cerebral palsy, abandoned by his birth mother and consigned to certain death in the deplorable orphanages and asylums of Russia. He was discovered, living half naked and confined in an iron-barred cot for 24 hours a day. But he refused to succumb to the regime of abuse, and enlisted a range of people to help him escape.For three years he was under constant threat of being returned to an asylum but, after a series of miraculous coincidences and terrible disappointments, he moved to America. He has been able to start a new life and, now aged eighteen, is a full partner in this book, with his memories supplemented by outsiders who battled the system on his behalf. Life in these appalling institutions has remained a closely guarded secret. But the author has managed to gain unprecedented access and has uncovered a true portrait of a child-care system which was founded by Stalin but exists to this day.
Alan Philps started his career as Russian Correspondent at Reuters. He then became Russian Correspondent for the Daily Telegraph before moving to become the paper's Middle East Correspondent and then its Foreign Editor.