Kamloops aid worker dies in Cambodian hospital after suffering beating - Metro US

Kamloops aid worker dies in Cambodian hospital after suffering beating

A humanitarian aid worker from Kamloops, B.C., died in a Cambodian hospital Thursday after being robbed, beaten and left for dead on the street six days earlier.

Jiri Zivny, 43, died in the capital city, Phnom Penh, after being mugged Jan. 9 leaving an ATM.

Zivny had been traveling with members of the International Humanitarian Hope Society delivering medical supplies and Christmas gifts to orphanages.

When the rest of the group returned home in December, Zivny and a friend decided to stay on.

Evelyn Picklyk, president of the Kamloops-based charity, told Metro on Thursday that Zivny will be remembered for his compassion.

“One of (my most vivid memories of him) was when we went to the brain injury orphanage and he knelt down beside this little boy and he wept. He was so compassionate. And he was a delight to children.”

Picklyck said Zivny’s death shouldn’t deter people from volunteering in developing nations.

“This can happen anywhere, and it’s an unfortunate thing,” she said.

Zivny’s medical insurance had expired before the attack and his friends are trying to raise money to bring his cremated remains home.

“We looked into bringing the body back and it’s around $20,000 and (his family) decided that money should go toward the orphans.”

A fund has been set up in Zivny’s name at humanitarianhope.com.

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