MASSENA, NY – Massena Memorial Hospital Surgeon Dalkeith Facey, DO, FACOS, MBA uses his scapel and surgical skills to transform people’s lives in America and abroad.
Dr. Facey, of MMH Surgical Group and Wound Care, recently traveled to a rural village in Haiti with the nonprofit medical relief organization NNY Hope for Haiti. During the week-long medical humanitarian mission trip, Dr. Facey worked with three other surgeons to perform 110 surgeries free of charge to Village of L’Artibonite residents. The trip is organized by Dr. Facey’s long-time friend, Dr. Walter Dodard, D.O., FACOOG. Dr. Dodard is an OB/GYN and native of Haiti. Four doctors, including Dr. Facey and Dr. Dodard, six nurses, one anesthesiologist and one nurse anesthetist went on the mission trip.
After traveling for four hours north from the nation’s capital, the team settled into the residence in the village that they called home for a week. People living in the Haiti village lack access to even the most basic healthcare, said Dr. Facey, who has participated in these trips since 2011. The Haiti hospital is staffed with a few medical doctors, one OB/GYN who delivers babies, but has no surgeons.
A patient in America might undergo a physical examination, as well as medical imaging tests – such as CT scans, an MRI or ultrasound to give the doctor the necessary tools for diagnosis and surgical management. These Haiti residents do not have that luxury.
The patient is first triaged by the medical doctors for their diagnosis, then HIV testing is performed. The nurses greet the patients, check their vitals and then prep them for surgery. Most of the patients’ aliments are easily visible. With Dr. Facey’s extensive experience in surgery with a simple clinical exam, he can easily identify certain tumors that require immediate surgical intervention.
Dr. Facey explained that these are life-changing surgeries. Some surgeries consisted of removing tumors from the face, breast, and other parts of the body. Some patients suffered from excess fluid build-up in their groin area, called Hydroceles. This limits their ability work in the agricultural fields in their community because they can not properly walk or bend over.
Dr. Facey pointed out that most patients will only have the opportunity to receive surgery when the surgeons travel on the annual mission trip. “People usually camp out in front of the hospital to be first in line for treatment. It is on a first come first served basis,” he said. Dr. Facey explained that this experience is what keeps him going back year after year. “It is a very rewarding thing to be able to do something that positively impacts another person’s life.”
Shortly before traveling to Haiti, Facey went on a spending spree purchasing items that most Americans often take for granted. He recounted how he purchased more than 100 pairs of flip flops in various sizes, brightly colored Yo-Yos, plastic toy cars, and jump ropes to pass out to the villagers. He gives away more than $700 of items he purchases and $300 in cash anonymously to villagers during each annual visit. A Rotary club in Virginia also donates toys, which are also passed out to children during the trip.
Dr. Facey is eagerly looking forward to his next trip to Haiti. Anyone wishing to support NNY Hope for Haiti can contact the c/o New Hope Baptist Church, 19983 NY Route 3, Watertown, NY 136010.
NORTH COUNTRY GOODWILL AMBASSADOR