A father from Crayford has described the “unbearable suffering” caused by motor neurone disease as he sets up a café in memory of his late wife.

Peter Sivyer, 56, lost his wife Debbie at the age of 52 in January after a long five-and-a-half-year battle with the illness.

While Debbie was suffering from MND, she and her husband were in the process of opening up the Blue Flower Coffee Lounge in Crayford High Street, something they had always wanted to do.

“It was always the dream [to have a coffee shop]. It was the dream before Debbie was ill,” Peter told News Shopper.

Peter, who had worked as a paper merchant for most of his career, gave up his job to care for his wife.

But together, they developed the idea for the Blue Flower.

“She was involved in everything: The property itself, the name – everything else,” Peter said.

“Unfortunately, she never saw the end product.”

The Blue Flower opened to the public on June 7 and has been serving coffee, breakfast and snacks to customers ever since.

“It’s going really nicely,” Peter said.

The family decided Blue Flower was the best name for the new café because a blue flower is the symbol for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Peter told News Shopper about how the organisation helped the family during Debbie’s illness.

“They were brilliant to us with offering help and assistance from beds for Debbie to psychological back up.”

Peter and his children, 26-year-old Jack and 22-year-old Ellie, plan to put a collection box for the charity in the coffee lounge and raise awareness of the disease. Ellie is even planning to climb Kilimanjaro for the charity.

"You would be surprised how many people suffer with it, and the suffering around it is unbearable. It can leave terrible scars," he said.

Peter will close the cafe tomorrow (August 10) to have a barbecue with family on what would have been Debbie’s 53rd birthday.

“We have been so busy with the shop opening, and we’re really enjoying it, but it’s all still a bit raw and fresh,” he said.

He added it can be difficult to remember his wife before she was ill because the illness lasted for so long.

“When you have spent so much time together it is very hard to have memories [beyond the disease] in the finishing years.”

But opening the Blue Flower has helped the family cope with their loss, as Peter says there are “positives out of everything.”

“Debbie would have loved it. She would be working here with me and we would have been arguing every day.”