Tribute to Hella Pick from Saving Faces

Hella Pick, the world-renowned foreign correspondent and diplomatic reporter, died in hospital last night (4th April 2024) from pneumonia.

Hella was a proud and active supporter of Saving Faces often encouraging friends to join us. She loved music so attending our Christmas Carol Concert with friends was a must on her calendar. In the last few months, she helped our Chief Executive Iain Hutchison design a short booklet illustrating our research for the general public. We will use this booklet to illustrate the need for a research professor in facial surgery and raise the funds to employ them.

Hella was born in Vienna in 1928, 19 years after Iain Hutchison’s mother, Martha (1909). It is unlikely that they ever met, but both left Austria in 1938 and spent the rest of their lives as citizens of the United Kingdom, (Iain Hutchison’s mother was a GP).

Iain always saw similarities between Hella and Martha, most notably their physical and emotional stamina and determination. However, Hella was also charming, elegant, a terrific cook and loved entertaining.

When Hella was admitted to hospital this time, she listed Iain as her next of kin. Iain felt that might be because of their Viennese connection, or just that he was in recent years, particularly since her fall and fractured neck, her regular pro bono adviser providing advice on who best to see, or simply explaining the pros and cons of what was being suggested.

In this last hospital visit it’s no surprise to those who knew her well that over the last few days she remained strong in body and mind controlling all decisions, informing all her phone contacts and keeping her hand on the phone, even during sleep, so that she wouldn’t miss out on talking to somebody!

At the end, she still wanted more, but was uncompromising once she had made her decision, not wanting to live out her days away from her home unable to walk, unable to take food normally or see people, except surrounded by medical instruments and tubes.

What a magnificent woman and what a life she has led. We know that many people around the world will miss her and cherish the time that they spent with her. We doubt that we will see her like again.