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Duke specialist saves sight for young patient

Posted February 10, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

— Like many children, Kyle Street traveled across the country to seek treatment at Duke Eye Center. Street, from northern Indiana, came to Durham nine years ago, at age 6, for treatment of glaucoma.

Kyle was born with congenital cataracts, which led to glaucoma in his right eye. He had emergency surgery in Chicago, but had complications.

“Unfortunately, the surgery went bad. Kyle hemorrhaged the next day, and we were on a plane down here to see Dr. Freedman,” his mother, Colleen Street, said.

Duke specialist saves sight for young patient 2/10/09 Boy seeks glaucoma treatment at Duke

At the time, Duke ophthalmologist Dr. Sharon Freedman was one of five pediatric glaucoma specialists in the country.

“The goal was to try and save what little vision there was left in the right eye,” Freedman said.

Freedman gave Kyle a glaucoma drainage implant device in both eyes. The device is designed to relieve pressure in the eye.

“She saved his sight,” Colleen Street said.

The procedure was the first of several surgeries Kyle had to repair his vision – including retinal detachment when he was 12 and a corneal transplant last summer.

With each procedure, Kyle and his mother would spend time at their second home – the Ronald McDonald House in Durham. His most recent procedure has kept him there for the past seven months.

When the sutures from the transplanted cornea come out, Kyle and his mom plan to head back to Indiana.

Kyle said he expects to live with some vision complications all his life.

“Kyle’s not out of the woods, but he’s a remarkable young man who’s been through an awful lot,” Freedman said.

5 Comments

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  • Zach1 Feb 12, 8:39 a.m.

    Great story.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Feb 11, 10:41 a.m.

    Thank you, Dr. Sharon Freedman. I know you're paid as much as those who play pro sports, nor do you garner anywhere near as much attention as a role model...but know that you're much more important to society than they will ever be. And hopefully, one day, society's priorities will evolve where those who go to school and work hard, surpass sports "heros".

    Great job!

  • luvtoshag Feb 11, 10:37 a.m.

    My daughter (who is now 6) is also a patient at Duke Eye Center. Her doctor is Dr. Laura Enyedi. She is one of a few who treat pediatric Uveitis. She is amazing, caring and such a great doctor. If not for her, my daugher would have lost her sight. Two years later, her sight in her left eye went from 20/200 to 20/30. She is on chemo and eye drops and could not be in a better place for treatment. She is also followed by Dr. Dewitt in Rheumatology at Duke Children's Hospital. Duke is only one of a few (4 or 5 I believe) in the country that treat pediatric Uveitis. Thank God they are close by and have such outstanding physicians! Thank you Dr. Enyedi for helping our daughter.

  • meh2 Feb 10, 8:58 p.m.

    Nice headline - you meant "of", not "for".

  • james27613 Feb 10, 6:26 p.m.

    Big Thumbs Up for Dr. Sharon Freedman and to her young patient.