17 Mar 2014

Writer Izidor Ruckel

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 3:06 pm on 17 March 2014

They were images that shocked the world. In 1990, the first Western television crew talked their way into the Hospital for Irrecoverable Children in a remote Transylvanian town in Romania, a few months after the execution of Romania's leader, Nicolae Ceausescu. They found emaciated orphans living in cage like cots with shaved heads and desperate faces. Izidor Ruckel was one of them. At ten, he looked like a six year old. Not enough food, not enough love. An American couple saw the story on an American TV programme and adopted him. But all the years of deprivation did not melt away with a family's love. He struggled, left home at 17, but has since reunited with his adoptive parents and now works as an advocate for orphans in Romania.