Health Team

Duke specialist saves sight for young patient

Kyle Street first came to Durham from Indiana nine years ago for treatment of glaucoma.

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DURHAM, N.C. — 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.

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.

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Allen Mask, M.D., Reporter
Rick Armstrong, Producer
Kathy Hanrahan, Web Editor

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