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Longtime missionary nurse Avril Keoughan dies in Ghana after fall

In 1990, Avril Keoughan resigned from the hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, where she had worked as a nurse for 20 years. She gave away most of her belongings and moved to Africa.
For more than two decades, Keoughan served at the Church of Christ Mission Clinic in Kumasi, Ghana. She taught health care clinics in rural communities throughout the country.
Keoughan traveled to the northern Ghanaian city of Tamale, where she taught about health in a Bible school. On June 27, she fell in the shower and died shortly after she was taken to a hospital. She was 62.
Born in the British Channel Islands, Keoughan grew up in Canada and attended the West Hamilton Church of Christ in Ontario. There she met missionary Ralph Perry, who told her about the needs in Africa. Though she never had participated in a mission trip before, she decided to move to Ghana.
“Avril enjoyed teaching many students — especially preachers at Ghana Bible College — to practice primary health care so that they could minister to the sick where they were preaching,” said Glenn Boyd, director of International Health Care Foundation, a Searcy, Ark.-based ministry that sponsors medical missions in Africa. Keoughan worked for the foundation for 15 of the past 20 years, Boyd said.
The College Church of Christ in Searcy supported Keoughan.
Her sister, Cheryl Nieuwold, said that Keoughan “not only loved the land but especially loved the people of Ghana.” In keeping with Keoughan’s wishes, the Christian nurse was buried in Ghana.

MEMORIAL GIFTS may be sent to IHCF/African Christian Hospitals. See www.ihcf.net.

  • Feedback
    My heart salutes missionaries like Avril, giving their all for the people they love and choosing that their fallen bodies rest in the belly of the mission field among the people they love! For such devotion, we praise God!
    Charles Ngoje
    Nairobi Great Commission School
    Nairobi, Kenya
    July, 28 2011

    I would visit with Avril twice each year in Kumasi as I traveled to the Upper East. She provided an invaluable place of rest for those working in Ghana. She was also a good friend who understood things that were of value in this life such as friendship. I saw her in June of this year and will miss her presence. I know that she has truly touched many lives and that Eric will miss his “Mom” greatly. Christ’s Church and the people of Ghana has suffered a great loss with Avril’s passing.
    Donald Collins
    Village Church of Christ
    Hot Springs Village, Arkansas
    July, 28 2011

    What an inspiring story, Erik. Appreciated Avril’s idea of “teaching preachers to practice primary health care” so that they could help folks in their congregations. Also touching that she chose to be buried in Ghana.
    Thanks much for including a map. This is so helpful.
    Eileen Emch
    Rostov Church of Christ
    Rostov-on-Don, Rostov Region
    July, 27 2011

Filed under: International

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