Ousted eye doctor's patients missing records, medical board's hands tied

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Patients are feeling stranded without their medical records.

Eye doctor Jonathan Christenbury closed up shop amid claims of sexual harassment in November.

Since then, patients applied for their records, even paid a fee, but one patient says these records are nowhere to be seen.

"It's just frustrating, really," Kayla Shomaker says. "To try to get something that's yours, and you can't."

Shomaker says she paid nearly $20,000 out of pocket to Christenbury Eye Center for surgeries since the mid-nineties.

"So I spent a lot of money there," she says. "And I'm just worried about my records."

Shomaker lives with diabetes, so she needs her medical records.

"I even have to carry a card in case something happens to me, what kind of lens I have in my eyes," she says. "So it's very important."

When Christenbury closed his eye care center in November amid sexual harassment claims, a notice was posted for patients, giving instructions to fill out a medical release form by the end of January.

Shomaker sent her forms the beginning of that month.

"We had to pay $20 to get it, and I did," she says. "I'm not worried about the 20, I'm worried about our information."

It has been four months since Shomaker sent her check. She says the money has been deposited, but no records in return.

Calls to the office are a dead end. Signage is removed from the building. Our calls and emails to Christenbury's listed attorney, since December, have been unreturned.

A medical board representative said Friday that its investigators know about the situation.

They would normally take action, but say they cannot in this case, because Christenbury is no longer a licensed doctor.

"That sounds like a class action lawsuit," Shomaker says. "For breach of contract with our privacy."

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