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News Release

Local Teen Author to tell Inspiring Story of Survival

After a harrowing journey, Russian born preemie now thriving in Bethlehem, Pa.

Bethlehem, Pa., February 9, 2010—John Lahutsky, author of “The Boy from Baby House 10: From the Nightmare of a Russian Orphanage to a New Life in America,” will visit Moravian to tell his remarkable story of survival, on Monday, February 15 at 7 p.m. in the After Words Café, Reeves Library.  The public is welcome to attend, and admission is free.

John, originally named Vanya, was born in Moscow in 1990. A preemie who weighed only two pounds at birth, he miraculously survived, despite the questionable level of medical technology available in Russia at that time. When John was eighteen months old, his birth parents abandoned him and his six-year-old sister Olga, and the children were sent to separate orphanages. Once in the state system, John was treated as less than human because of his physical disability resulting from cerebral palsy, and he was admitted to an adult mental asylum at age 6. For a full bio, visit http://www.johnlahutsky.com/.

Concerned individuals, including Sarah and Alan Philps and a young Russian woman named Vika, attempted to rescue John, but it was not until 1999 that John’s life turned around dramatically, when he was adopted by Paula Lahutsky. They now live in Bethlehem Township, where John is an honor roll student at Freedom High School.  History is his favorite subject and he enjoys giving presentations about his life and his book.  John is an active member of the Boy Scouts of America and the Order of the Arrow, the Boy Scout honor society.  He has held leadership positions in Boy Scout Troop 362 at East Hills Moravian Church in Bethlehem where he holds the rank of Life Scout.

Alan Philps, who helped John in writing his story, is an experienced foreign correspondent who has worked for Reuters and The Daily Telegraph, UK.  Philps also has experience with Soviet Russia, having been expelled from the Soviet Union in 1985, but he was allowed back to Moscow after the collapse of communism. He now lives in London with his wife Sarah.

John is brought to Moravian College by the Zinzendorf Society, in conjunction with the Friends of Reeves Library and Sigma Tau Delta and with the help of USG funding.  After Words Café is located on the lower level of Reeves Library on Moravian’s Main Campus.  For any additional information or questions, contact Kelly Grab, President of the Zinzendorf Society, at stklg04@moravian.edu.