A BRAVE widower has been inspired by his late wife to raise awareness about the cruel condition that took her from him.

Peter Gilchrist, who turns 76 at the end of this month, is asking for donations - instead of birthday gifts - for Motor Neurone Disease Scotland in memory of his wife Angela.

The Gourock grandfather says not enough is known about the condition that devastated his family and he wants to help others.

Mr Gilchrist, who worked in insurance and investments before joining the ambulance service, said a simple fall started Angela's decline.

He said: "She fell and broke her wrist last May and I noticed her speech was slurred and she started to drag her right leg.

"The doctors said she'd had a stroke.

"I thought there would have been some improvement but that wasn't happening - it was as if she was going back the way.

"She had a brain scan and its took eleven weeks before we got the results."

Angela wasn't finally diagnosed until February this year despite the fact that from May 2017 there was a team of experts and carers involved in her care.

Mr Gilchrist said: "Doctors don't know what causes motor neurone disease and there is no cure.

"It is a horrible cruel disease, the body just shuts down.

"It robs you of the use of your arms and legs, you lose your voice and even your swallowing becomes affected.

"It's the most horrible disease, you are a prisoner in your own body but your mind is still active.

"There are three types and Angela had the most common type ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and after she was diagnosed in February she went downhill.

"She was so brave, she still managed to smile and was still the boss.

"The finger would still be wagged at times.

"She started using a stick, then a zimmer and then her arm went limp.

"She was right handed so she tried to write with her left hand and then she used an iPad to communicate.

"You're standing there watching all this and you feel so helpless."

Sadly Angela passed away on July 24, aged 71, and she is much missed by all the family.

The couple had been married for 52 and lived in Wemyss bay before moving to Clyde Road in Gourock.

They couple brought up two daughters Mhairi, 50, and Kirsty, 47, and were later blessed with two grandsons.

Angela was a local area co-ordinator with the social work department and worked with adults with learning disabilities.

Mr Gilchrist said: "She was always doing things for other people and fundraising.

"She ran afternoon tea for Macmillan for 20 years and this year was the first year she missed it.

"She touched many people lives."

Mhairi gave the eulogy at her mum's funeral, saying: "You knew mum loved you when she nagged and scolded you and she loved my dad very much."

The family collected £1,100 at the funeral for the charity.

Mr Gilchrist said: "We have a lot of nice memories and enjoyed a lot of holidays together, especially cruises. Angela had an outgoing nature and enjoyed life.

"All the carers loved her."

Mr Gilchrist is fundraising until the end of September and pledges can be made to support his appeal online at https://www.facebook.com/donate/302488567193566/