Letter to Legislator from Retired Police Officer - Safe Surgery NC

Letter to Legislator from Retired Police Officer

Date: March 7, 2017 at 10:03:24 AM EST
To: justin.burr@ncleg.net<mailto:justin.burr@ncleg.net>

Subject: House Bill 36

Today as I was having a follow up visit to my retina doctor, I learned of house bill 36 being presented that if passed would allow optometrist to preform eye surgery. Before you vote to pass this bill or before you have an optometrist make a serious decision about your sight, Please Read This.

In 2015 and before I became educated about the differences between an optometrist and ophthalmologist, as I was a police officer in Charlotte NC and proudly serving my city. I began seeing floaters (black pepper like objects) from my right eye and made an appointment with a local optometrist for an eye examination. I gave the optometrist a very detailed description of the symptoms I was experiencing with the floaters in my field of vision and ASSUMED he could make an adequate diagnosis or referral if need be. After what I thought was an adequate eye examination, the optometrist said the only the only thing I required was a set of glasses and ordered a set of prescription glasses.

About 1 1/2 months later, I made an appointment with an ophthalmologist in reference to an eye lid lift. During the initial examination, and because I was still seeing floaters (which to an ophthalmologist is obvious) the ophthalmologist sent me directly to a retina specialist. Because of the misdiagnosis of the optometrist and because of the findings of Dr. Omar Punjabi (a Retina Specialist), I was scheduled for an emergency retina surgery within 24 hours to save my sight. The findings by the optometrist and the skilled surgery of Dr. Omar Punjabi to re-attach a severely detached retina saved the vision of my right eye.

To even entertain the idea of having an optometrist perform surgery or diagnosis these serious issues with your eyes should not even be considered. PLEASE vote NO to oppose house bill 36 and encourage your colleague’s to vote NO as well. Our eyesight, which we all sometimes take for granted, is too precious to trust in the hands of improperly educated or trained professionals.


Jeff Johnson
Retired Charlotte Mecklenburg PD

Publication: Email

Date Published: March 7, 2017

HB36 is a dangerous bill before the North Carolina General Assembly. If passed, HB36 will enable Optometrists, who did not attend medical school, the ability to perform eye surgery within our state.