An 80-year-old man with a terminal disease that has left him immobile and with swallowing difficulties has been denied NHS funding for care at home.
Health bosses say Brian Stroud is not ill enough to qualify.
The ruling left his 77-year-old wife Eileen, who is herself frail and on crutches, to look after him.
The couple have paid £16,000 for extra care in the last six months but their daughter Debbie Hill, 46, says the physical and financial strain is proving too much.
They are also struggling with the bureaucracy involved in appealing against the decision.
The Strouds, of Hollandon-Sea, Essex, have been living a nightmare since Mr Stroud was diagnosed with the terminal disease PSP (progressive supranuclear palsy) three years ago.
It is a rare and incurable degenerative brain disorder, whose victims included actor Dudley Moore.
They applied for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding eight months ago but have been turned down twice by North East Essex Primary Care Trust.
Mrs Hill said: 'All the health service staff who have seen my father say he qualifies for funding but we've been told his needs are only 'moderate'.
He can't use his left side, he's virtually immobile and in a wheelchair, he's doubly incontinent and cannot lift his head.
'Swallowing has got more difficult, so has communicating. It seems incredible that he's been turned down.
'It's all about money - and we're disgusted that the PCT chief executive got a three per cent bonus last year for achieving financial targets'.
The Daily Mail's Dignity for the Elderly campaign has repeatedly highlighted the unfairness of the means test system when families need nursing care for conditions such as Alzheimer's.
Department of Health criteria on who qualifies for help are subject to interpretation by individual NHS trusts.
Many people are denied funding by primary care trusts - which have to foot the bill - because their disease does not automatically make them eligible.
Campaigners say requests are unlawfully rejected or mired in the appeal system for months or years.
Mrs Hill, a mother of two, said last night: 'We want justice for dad and mum, and for everyone else in this situation.
'They've been married 52 years, they're devoted to each other, but when they need the NHS it's not there for them.'
Jane Hardy, chief executive of the PSP Association, said refusal of NHS funding was becoming more common.
She said there were around 1,250 sufferers diagnosed with this 'absolutely dreadful disease' at any one time.
She said: 'It's made more terrible because people with PSP know what's happening to them.
'They are trapped in a broken body, unable to communicate and knowing it's only going to get worse.
'We need a system that's not left to local officials, who often have every incentive to reject applications.'
NHS North East Essex said last night that it will soon be making a new assessment of Mr Stroud's condition as his needs have ' potentially increased'.
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I remember bollocking the care assistants at the home my Nana was in for laughing as they discussed how she screamed and made a fuss when they tried to insert a prolapse ring at a Doctors appointment. Not one of them, the Doctor included noticed or cared that she had advanced anal cancer and was in agony. She was 89 and died a few weeks later.
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