FIONA McKAY spoke to Roslyn about the Zak Scott Braveheart Foundation.
EVERY day Roslyn Scott deals with the agony that her 14-year-old son Zak died from complications related to a lifelong heart problem.
Zak was born with a congenital condition, which included a hole in the heart, and died last year, just two weeks before his 15th birthday.
However, since Zak's death, Roslyn, 38, has focused her grief by creating The Zak Scott Braveheart Foundation, which helps children and young people with heart problems.
Roslyn said: "Last year was horrific. I think because we were struggling we had to try and make something positive from the situation, so we knew we had do something for Zak.
"Zak was attending Yorkhill almost every year. As he got older he saw the other kids there and he wanted to help them in some way.
"We thought the perfect thing was to start something in his name to get us out the black hole we were in. So we are really trying to fulfil his vision."
Zak expressed a wish that every child in hospital going through major cardiac surgery should have a gift waiting for them after they wake up, just as he always did.
Roslyn set up a charity with her mother Sarah Rodgers, sister-in-law Sharon Lamb, and family friend Lilian Mair to work alongside Yorkhill Hospital For Sick Children, Glasgow, to provide this.
Families are given 'wish lists' for their children to fill in with a present they would like, and the Zak Scott Braveheart Foundation has it waiting for the child after their operation.
Already, 46 youngsters, which the foundation calls Bravehearts, have been treated with gifts such as portable DVD players and DVDs, games consoles, teddy bears and special keepsakes.
And each child treated in the cardiac unit receives a journal with stickers so they can record their experience.
Roslyn, who lives with husband Ian, 43, and their 13-year-old son Brandon, in Kilwinning, Ayrshire, thinks this will help other children who may be frightened in the hospital because it was something Zak did to help him cope.
She said: "Zak used to write in a journal about any of his worries and fears and that helped him.
"He would discuss what he wrote with us and show it to the nurses and we would work through his worries together.
"It was a way of sharing his experiences, which he found easier to write down, and he also used to put smiley faces and things like that on it."
Zak was born in 1996 and was diagnosed shortly after with Pulmonary Atresia with a Ventricular Septal Defect (or hole in the heart) and Major Aortapulmonary Collateral Arteries, a complicated condition that includes problems with the heart's valves and the supply of blood to the lungs.
He had about 14 operations, including four major ones on his heart, which meant he was a frequent visitor to Yorkhill Hospital and was considered part of the "cardiology family", the ward where he had a special relationship.
Even though the youngster never had full lung capacity, he did not let it affect his enjoyment of life.
He was often doing impressions of TV's Gary: Tank Commander and Naveed from Still Game, and when he was in hospital he would sit in the playroom, not to play with the toys, but to look out to Ibrox Stadium, the home of his favourite team Rangers.
The Kilwinning Academy pupil was also an avid karate fan.
He was a member of Ayrshire's Burakudo Shotokan Karate club and, even though he did not spar with other competitors, he won a bronze medal in a championship for 'kata' (punching and kicking movements).
His gran Sarah, 58, said: "He could not do much physical activity, but he knew his limitations and whenever he got out of breath he would sit down until he recovered, and then start. He never let it hold him back."
In March 2011, Zak underwent open heart surgery to have the hole in his heart closed.
Unfortunately he experienced serious complications and died three weeks later.
Roslyn now concentrates full-time on the work she does with the Zak Scott Braveheart Foundation and has raised nearly £30,000 since she started it in September last year.
It has also pushed her to do new things she would not normally have done, such as a charity 14,500ft skydive with friend Jim Scott, an instructor with North West Parachute Centre in Cumbria.
The plan is eventually to expand the foundation so it can offer gifts not just to those undergoing major surgery, but those who have relatively minor operations, like ballooning and stenting.
The foundation is also looking to buy a holiday home that it can dedicate to the families they support who are in need of a break.
Roslyn added: "I am so proud. It is so nice to know it is doing what Zak hoped it would do. It is hard and bittersweet sometimes, but it is heartwarming, too."
l For more information about the foundation and any upcoming charity events, see: www.zakscottbraveheart foundation.org.uk