"I didn't want to put my children through dealing with every single day not knowing whether dad's going to recognize you today," Shawn Blazsek said. "At that point, it seemed easier to not be around for that."
Shawn said he wrote a note instructing himself to swallow a bottle of sleeping pills should he ever forget his children's names.
His wife, Jenny, said she cried daily after they received his diagnosis: early-onset Alzheimer's disease.
"Oh my God, what am I going to do? I mean, I... when you get married you think about, 'I'm going to have kids and then we're going to have this time that we're going to grow old together.' And I thought we're not going to have that," Jenny said.
Shawn, 33, has a history of concussions and went to the Toledo Clinic Cognitive Center for Insomnia. He said he didn't realize the woman who treated him wasn't a medical doctor.
Sherry Ann Jenkins opened the center in early 2015, saying: "I use a holistic manner with a scientific approach for my patients. I use neuro-cognitive testing coupled with pet and CT scans to confirm my diagnosis."
"There was nothing to question in my eyes at that point. I went there for cognitive issues. I had the test right in front of me," Shawn said.
But CBS News Medical Contributor Dr. David Agus says medical staff should be licensed to interpret those results.
"This diagnosis is a difficult one to make, it needs to be done with experts in the disease. And always you should get a second opinion when you're facing a deadly disease or a disease with a poor outcome," Agus said.
Shawn did get a second opinion months later. Turns out his insomnia wasn't due to Alzheimer's. He's one of at least 55 people suing the Toledo Clinic and Sherry Ann Jenkins.
Dr. Oliver Jenkins was allegedly listed as a physician for many of the patients. Although he is a medical doctor, the lawsuit claims he's not qualified to provide such services, never saw the plaintiffs and did not participate in their care and treatment.
"Our biggest concern is that there are people out there living with this inadequate improper misdiagnosis of Alzheimer's," lawyer David Zoll said.
Last year, the Toledo Clinic sent Jenkins' patients a letter stating the cognitive center is no longer providing services but didn't include a warning about the errors.
"It was... definitely malicious and I hope people can get themselves a second opinion as soon as possible," Shawn said.
Shawn says he threw out that bottle of pills. The lawsuit seeks more than $1 million for each plaintiff. Their attorney argues Jenkins overbilled several patients, meaning greed may have been a motive. CBS News was not able to reach the Jenkins. A lawyer for the clinic would not comment on a pending case.
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