LAS VEGAS — A Nevada woman told ABC News that she lost a job in the medical-device industry when she refused to take the drug she said she needed to stop her heart from shutting down.
Sara DeBrantz, 33, said she has been taking her painkiller OxyContin since 2011 and it’s been working for years.
Her employer, United Medical Devices, said it had been looking for a new medical- device manager for two years.
It said that when the company learned DeBrants heart rate would slow to less than 50 beats per minute, it changed her contract and offered her $10,000 if she agreed to take a drug.
She said she’s never taken the drug and said she didn’t want her job to go to waste.
The medical-devices company declined to comment.
DeBrantZs father, Bob DeBrentz, said he spoke to the company on Friday about the situation and said it “did the right thing.”
He said that DeBrahts family told them it’s okay to not take the medication.
The DeBrums have two daughters ages 8 and 14.
Bob DeBarrentz said his wife was taking the drug because she needed help with her seizures.
He said she had taken it for years before getting her job.
“My daughter has to go through something that’s out of her control,” he said.
“She’s just not willing to have it take over her life.”
Bob DeBrencez said he asked for a second opinion after hearing from his wife, who told him she was losing her mind and could not continue to work.
He said he told her to go home and get help.
“I told her it’s going to kill you.
It’s going and taking away your livelihood,” he told ABC affiliate KSNV.”
The first day that I told her she was in pain and couldn’t work, she started crying,” Bob DeBlrentz added.
“The last time I saw her was at 10 o’clock in the morning.
She was having a seizure.
The next thing I know, she’s crying.”
The DeBarrasts told ABC station KSNTV that they were told they had to take another prescription for the drug after the first one expired in two weeks.
They were told to come back the next day and get a new prescription.
The company said it’s committed to making changes to the process to allow for employees to take medication.ABC News’ Kevin Griffin and Mark Berman contributed to this report.