Sheer determination and an abundance of positive thinking has seen 15-year-old Saki Roussos fight through major surgery several times.

The teenager looks forward to coming to Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, where he stays for respite, receives counselling and meets other teenagers going through intense medical treatments too.

He said: “I love it at Bluebell Wood. I get to chill and I love talking to everybody here. Also – the food is amazing!”

Saki was born in Greece and came back to live in Barnsley when he was two. He was born prematurely and was diagnosed with chronic lung disease and serious heart condition. In addition, Saki has had several strokes, is on the autism spectrum and has a learning disability.

His mum, Sharon, of Smithies in Barnsley, describes Saki as “a fighter with a huge amount of determination.”

At just 50 days old, Saki underwent major surgery and since then the youngster has been under hospital care constantly. Through his life, he’s had five major heart surgery operations and three new heart valves.

Saki is very sociable and enjoys being around lots of people; so Bluebell Wood is a place where he can have fun while being cared for by the specialist team. This means that Sharon can stay at Bluebell Wood too and get rest.

“Coming to Bluebell Wood is just so calming and is such a friendly, warm atmosphere to walk into. You know the staff here will listen and help with anything.

“Life outside of Bluebell Wood is busy; hospital appointments are constant. But when I’m here a big weight lifts of my shoulders – it’s a different world, incredible; you are just comforted and supported at Bluebell Wood.”

The family first came to Bluebell Wood around three years ago and have since had many opportunities to create special memories together. Recently, they went to York Dungeon with members of the Care Team and enjoyed a day full of laughter.

Sharon added: “What Bluebell Wood gives you is amazing – they should bottle the way that the staff support you as a family because it’s invaluable.”