Oxford University student David Linsey raises £350,000 in memory of Sri Lanka attack siblings
An Oxford University student whose brother and sister died in the Easter Day terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka has raised £350,000 for the country’s health service.
David Linsey said that the National Hospital in Colombo, the capital, had been “overwhelmed” by the number of victims arriving for treatment after the bombings in April. His siblings Daniel, 19, and Amelie, 15, died from their wounds after explosions at the Shangri-La Hotel in the city.
“Maybe had [the hospital] had better things, there could have been a better outcome. If not for my family, definitely for others,” said Mr Linsey, 22, who dropped out of his economics degree at Wadham College to focus on charity work. He set up the Amelie and Daniel Linsey Foundation to raise money for medical care on Sri Lanka and was able to make his first delivery last month, donating 100 trolley beds.
“Returning was very tough but there was a real sense of closure and achievement,” he said. “It was a very emotionally important moment.
“My parents still haven’t visited but they are finding the charity greatly healing. A lot of the reason I started this was to try to make space in my life for my brother and sister.”
It was his second visit to Sri Lanka where 253 people, including eight Britons, died and more than 500 were injured when suicide bombers targeted churches and hotels.
Daniel and Amelie were on the last day of an adventure holiday with their father, Matthew Linsey, 60, when the bombs went off in the hotel café.
Daniel was a student at Westminster Kingsway College, London, and was on the verge of deciding between universities in Manchester or Leicester for a degree in economics and management. He had volunteered at an orphanage in Ethiopia and with nomads in Mongolia.
Amelie was a pupil at Godolphin and Latymer School, Hammersmith, west London. Her father described her as “beautiful inside and out”, adding: “Both children were very interested in different cultures. They loved travelling abroad. That’s a very important part of who they were.”
David Linsey, who has a second brother, Ethan, 12, hopes to build a major trauma centre at the hospital in Colombo to improve local treatment.
The third-year undergraduate hopes to return to Oxford next year to finish his course and continue working with his foundation.
His family is planning two more trips to the country. The first in February will deliver ventilators and other equipment and the second will be on the anniversary of the attacks.