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Roundpeg steps in to give teenager Tom who was born with heart condition an outdoor retreat

Roundpeg steps in to give teenager Tom who was born with heart condition an outdoor retreat

An outdoor building company has stepped in to help a teenager who had his first open heart surgery at just three days old make the most of the great outdoors.

Tom Stevenson was born with a congenital heart condition and this means he is on oxygen 24 hours a day. Walking just a short distance around the house leaves him out of breath.

Now he has his own painted 3m x 2.4m summerhouse in the back garden of his Spondon home thanks to a donation from Roundpeg Outdoors Buildings, which is based in Yoxall. This is another room he can spend time in and be able to enjoy being outside without leaving his home.

Roundpeg, which creates bespoke outdoor buildings that can be used as offices, businesses, or as an extra space within the garden, stepped in after hearing an appeal for the summerhouse from Rachel Morris, founder of the Friends of Derby 500 Club.

Tom’s parents Lol and Nicky have said they are overwhelmed with the donation from Roundpeg.

Lol said:

“I am still pinching myself. I can’t get over the generosity of Sallyann and Roundpeg. We’ve never had anything like this.”

Nicky said:

“It’s a struggle to take Tom out and if he’s having an off day, he doesn’t want to go out anyway. This allows him to have a different space and somewhere nice for him to sit.”

The 16-year-old has been through more than most in his young life after having his first open heart surgery on New Year’s Day when he was just three days old.

This was the first of many operations for Tom and he had major heart surgery twice within a week when he was 16 months old, and again when he was five years old.

Now the teenager, who loves cooking, gaming and watching sport, lives with a congenital heart condition and pulmonary hypertension and he is constantly on oxygen.

Lol said:

“It’s been one hell of a journey. Tom just carries on. It’s his way of life and he’s never known anything different, so he just gets on with it. He has a fantastic sense of humour. He is a clown.”

Nicky added:

“It’s been a journey and a half. The average teenager has friends and goes out at night, but Tom doesn’t have the luxury of that. He is confined to a wheelchair most of the time. He can do small walks around the house but that leaves him breathless.”

Sallyann was introduced to Rachel, of the Friends of Derby 500 Club, through Marketing Derby. The club, which sees members pay £1 a week and then they give away £500 a week to a worthy cause, has previously paid for a patio for the family to help Tom enjoy the garden and put out a plea to see if anyone could help with a summerhouse.

Sallyann said:

“It’s fate that I met Rachel at Marketing Derby and I’m delighted that I was able to help. It’s nice to be able to do this for someone who will get so much out of it and to give Tom that extra space outside.

“Everyone needs to get outside in the fresh air but that can be difficult for people like Tom.”

The family plans to add a laminate floor to the summerhouse and is having electrics installed for his oxygen. They will also be fitting some new lights.

Rachel, who has known the family for around 10 years, said:

“I’m gobsmacked at the generosity offered by Sallyann and Roundpeg and I was very excited to let Lol and Nicky know about it.

“Lol and Nicky are very humble people and not a lot of people know about their situation.”

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