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In this Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, photo, Kay Taynor holds a photo of her late husband, Gary, in Toledo, Ohio. Dozens of patients from a now-closed memory loss clinic in Ohio say its director told them they had Alzheimer's disease when they really didn't. More than 50 people have sued, saying they thought for months they had the mind-robbing disease. Taynor was diagnosed with Alzheimer's on her second visit to clinic director Sherry-Ann Jenkins and then referred five or six friends and family members to her office, including her husband of 48 years. All were told they had the disease, she said, but her husband, Gary, took it hardest. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

An Ohio clinic told dozens of people they had Alzheimer's disease. They didn't.


A now-closed Ohio clinic told dozens of people that they had Alzheimer's when later tests proved they never did. 

But the truth didn't come out until many patients quit their jobs, sold their possessions and prepared for the worst. One patient killed himself.

More than 50 people have joined a lawsuit against the now-closed Toledo Clinic Cognitive Center. The woman who opened it in 2015, Sherry-Ann Jenkins, currently faces no criminal charges.

I was preparing [my wife] to be a single mom.
Shawn Blazsek, former Toledo Clinic patient

In one case, Shawn Blazsek, who suffered concussions in high school football and boxing, was told he had Alzheimer's at 33. He filled a bottle with sleeping pills, promising to swallow them if he forgot his kid's names. Nine months later, he learned the person who diagnosed him didn't have a medical license, and he didn't have Alzheimer's. 

Many times she would see the first person and have them bring in their whole family. And many times she would diagnose the whole family.
David Zoll, attorney

Jenkins, who opened the clinic, has a doctoral degree in physiological science but not a medical license. Her husband, who is a licensed doctor, signed off on the tests and was listed as the referring physician, even though he never saw any of the patients.  

Gary Taynor was also told he had Alzheimer's. His wife said he spent his final weeks with his head in his hands, eventually shooting himself in the head. 

An autopsy showed no sign of Alzheimer's. 

Don Tanner said he had similar thoughts of suicide, especially after seeing his own father die of Alzheimer's. He didn't know he didn't actually have the disease until last summer, after the clinic had closed.

"God must have been on my side, because I didn't go out there and get that damn gun," he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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