Dr Helen – pioneer of Amp Pipal Hospital
Dr Helen – pioneer of Amp Pipal Hospital

We celebrate the life and service of Dr Helen Huston, the first doctor at Amp Pipal hospital, who worked for 32 years in Nepal with UMN and passed away on 1 March 2024 at the age of 96. She arrived in Nepal in 1960, starting in the UMN hospitals at Tansen and Shanta Bhawan (Kathmandu) before moving to Amp Pipal in March 1963.

Dr Helen, from Alberta, Canada, was the first full-time doctor in Amp Pipal, Gorkha District, being their only doctor for around five years. She served at Amp Pipal until her retirement in 1992, and in the early years, “she performed emergency operations and all manner of medical services under the most primitive conditions”*. In 1969, she oversaw the building and movement of the dispensary to a newly constructed 15-bed hospital a short distance down the mountain from the Amp Pipal ridge. The hospital was run by UMN until 2001.

In the words of Dr Ian Smith who worked with Dr Helen in Amp Pipal from 1984 to 1992, “Helen was one of the most humble, trusting, generous, self-sacrificing people I have ever met, deeply committed to serving the people of Nepal, and with an even deeper faith in God. She lived a life of profound simplicity, pursued holiness single-mindedly, and practised medicine with a commitment to providing the highest possible standard of care for every patient that put many of us to shame!”

Her story is told in the book, “A Heart for Nepal: The Dr Helen Huston Story” written by Dr Gerald Hankins and a short video can be found at https://www.alberta.ca/aoe-helen-huston

Main photo used with permission from the Government of Alberta
* https://www.alberta.ca/aoe-helen-huston

Dr Helen Huston at Amp Pipal Dispensary 1960s
Helen Huston receiving the Amp Pipal Hospital land deed
Comments (4)
  1. David A. Thapa

    Rest in peace after your hard and dedicated very valuable precoius Christian missionary life in remote part of the land of Gurkhas , May God our lord Jesus Christ blessed and rewarded and make a space specially for you dearest of all Dr, Huston Helen , in heavenly kingdom with right hand of Father God .

  2. Norman Holbrook

    I had the privilege of working with Dr. Helen (or simply ,”Helen didi”) when I worked in Amp Pipal Nepal (1980-1983). Helen was already known in mission circles in Canada, and I was soon to discover that she was known all over Gorkha District (& neighbouring districts) because of her long and valued medical service in love at UMN’s Amp Pipal hospital.
    Helen was a pillar of Christian faith, and one of the few people I know that I would call “saintly” because she loved Jesus so much! She was a great inspiration to me and many others, and had a charming habit of seeing the best in people, so you wanted to live up to those expectations.
    It wasn’t easy being a doctor for decades in an isolated part of Nepal, but her close communion with Jesus seemed to give her freshness and joy each day.
    Thank you Helen for a life well lived, and for inspiring many of us colleagues to look to Jesus for our hope and strength 🙏

  3. Giancarlo

    Thank you Helen! Friends forever. Love you!

  4. Giancarlo

    Friends forever Helen. Love you!

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