Partial Blindness
Photo Credit: Supplied

Born with partial blindness, Young Dr Kyle Kleinhans’ life changed forever when he made a miraculous recovery. As such, he dedicated his life to changing the lives of others, and has already been part of some game-changing efforts for the healthcare system!


Durban, South Africa (19 June 2024) — Dr Kyle Kleinhans (30) is one of those rare doctors who can relate to many of the struggles his patients face from first-hand experience. Moments of feeling helpless and frustrated because of one’s body are not foreign concepts to Dr Kleinhans, whose life began with partial blindness; nor is the sometimes super-human resilience it can take to propel oneself into a stronger state.

Born with partial blindness, Dr Kleinhans’ earliest taste of life was flagged with challenges. During that time, something like becoming a doctor possibly felt like someone else’s dream. But, life threw Kyle a beautiful turning point when he regained his sight miraculously—a gift that made a young Kyle determined to better the lives of others.

“I was born partially blind and went through a lot as a child. The miracle of regaining my sight made me realise I had to use my gift of intelligence to better other people’s lives. For me, the best way to do that was to become a doctor,” says Kyle.

Despite the congenital nystagmus and astigmatism that challenged him, a determined Kyle worked hard to manage the two with extensive physiotherapy and occupational therapy. This eventually enabled him to learn how to read and write, and ultimately helped smoothen his road to becoming a doctor.

A Game-Changing Initiative

During his six-month rotation at Clairwood Hospital in Durban (which was designated as a COVID-19 facility), Dr Kleinhans saw that it’s not just patients who face challenges, but the healthcare system itself.

The surge of COVID-19 patients exposed shortcomings in systems like the existing patient referral system, which at the time ineffectively relied a lot on phone calls and paper-based methods.

Dr Kleinhans quickly saw that this antiquated system led to missed diagnoses and incomplete patient information, ultimately impacting the care that could be provided.

Determined to make a change, Dr Kleinhans spearheaded the implementation of an electronic referral system as an initiative part of a bigger effort to profile patients with COVID-19 referred to Clairwood. Soon, his innovation and hard work became hugely helpful, and the new system became a game-changer in the way information was managed for patients!

Dr Kleinhans went on to become the 2022/23 recipient of the Discovery Foundation Rural Individual Award for his work at Clairwood and continues his medical career with long-term goals of positive change in mind.

From partial blindness to the gift-of-a-lifetime and then a career dedicated to others’ lives, Dr Kleinhans continues to put his miracle to the best use!

Sources: Supplied 
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About the Author

Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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