Five of the surviving adult children of the California 'Horror House' have been described as looking half their age by hospital officials.
Ranging between 18 and 29, the five female and two male captives of their parents — David Allen and Louise Turpin — are malnourished but in good spirits as they receive treatment at the Corona Regional Medical Center.
Makr Uffer, CEO of the facility, said that working with the family has been a uniquely difficult process for both he and his staff.
“As I have talked to the nurses — some are the same ages as some of these people — I think everyone of us has a sense of how fortunate we are in our lives that we never have had to endure what they have had to endure,” Uffer told PEOPLE.
“That is a sobering experience for all of us, when you see a 29-year-old that looks like they are 12 or 13 or 14,” Uffer added.
The 13 siblings were rescued after an unnamed 17-year-old daughter climbed out a window and alerted police to the conditions that they were subject to, including being shackled to their beds and allegedly abused as well as being forced to march around for hours in the middle of the night, according to former neighbors.
The six underage siblings were sent to a different facility as their elder siblings, but Uffer said that the whole of them being underdeveloped is a direct result of year of malnutrition.
“I have been a hospital administrator for a long time and I have been in healthcare since 1973 … I have never seen this,” he said. “I can share with you that I have spent a fair amount of time with these kids … we call them kids but they are adults. It is heartbreaking to see this. It really hits home.”
The re-introduction to certain foods will occur over time as their dietary restrictions over the extended period of time would make it difficult for the children to keep certain things with them.
Despite the trauma that they all have endured, it is being reported that they are all doing well. That they are aware that their situation was unusual but they are not socially awkward or unwelcoming of the help being offered.
“They are very cognizant of what has occurred" Uffer said. "They are aware of the situation. They are coping with it. I would say they are happy in the environment that they are in right now. They feel that the nurses and the team of medical professionals that are taking care of them actually care about them as people and that we are here to help them — that they are safe and being treated with incredible dignity.
“You can tell they are a family and you can tell they really care about each other,” he added. “They sort of just cope. This is the cards they were dealt and they have just coped with it. We all feel very fortunate when you come from a two-parent household who treated you with love and tenderness and made sure you went to school and brushed your teeth and went to bed on time.”0comments
The Turpin parents are currently scheduled to appear in court on Thursday. They are being held on $9 million bond. There has been no reporting on whether or not they have retained the services of a lawyer or will be represented by a public defender.
Here is How to Help the California 'Horror House' Victims, if you are interested.