Samuel’s Smile is the brainchild of Knightswood Secondary pupil Samuel Bell and will offer young people with serious illnesses the chance to savour memories they will never forget.

It is the latest step in a lifetime of helping to raise awareness of children with debilitating conditions which has seen Samuel meet former Prime Minister Tony Blair, former First Minister Jack McConnell and even Her Majesty the Queen.

The 16-year-old told the Post setting up a charity is a plan which had been brewing for some time.

He said: “I had been talking about the idea for months. “Everyone knows me for my smile. Even when I have come out of operations, I am still smiling.

“I wanted to share that smile with some children who don’t get the opportunity to do so.

“In September I had a surprise birthday party and my mum unfurled a huge banner which said ‘Samuel’s Smile’ and had a big logo on it. I had no idea she had planned it all but that’s us now well on the way to being set up.” Samuel may be keen to help others but the youngster, who stays on Loanfoot Avenue with mum Sharon, dad Marty, and brothers Martin, 21, and Micah, six, has had no shortage of his own battles to fight.

The teenager suffers from Total Intestinal Hirschsprung’s Disease, a rare and severe form of the condition which occurs when the nerves in the intestine do not form properly.

So uncommon is the illness that Samuel is the oldest surviving sufferer in Europe.

He cannot eat and receives his nutrients via a pump, with a line passing fluids into his heart.

Samuel has a colostomy bag and sports like football are out of the question because the slightest knock could cause internal bleeding.

Despite these major obstacles, he told the Post he did not know life any other way.

The S5 pupil said: “I recently spoke at a school assembly about my charity. I’ve never had chocolate or Big Macs. People couldn’t believe it.

“I just don’t know any different. I get by without it —and I have the most balanced diet anyone could wish for.” Samuel has had more than 60 operations in his young life and his family have been told to prepare for the worst on several occasions.

The line pumping fluid into him sometimes becomes blocked and has to be replaced.

In 2006 his liver was failing and he was in Birmingham waiting for surgery to transplant five of his vital organs.

Samuel was losing four pints of blood a day and medics were unable to determine the source of his internal bleeding.

In a miraculous turn of events, his liver started to recover and in the end, the surgery was not necessary.

Such was the seriousness of Samuel’s condition when he was growing up, education chiefs wanted to send him to a specialist school.

His parents were determined he should be able to grow up in a mainstream environment.

Eventually they triumphed and he attended Bankhead Primary with three nurses to look after him.

Now in the senior stages of high school, Samuel paid tribute to his teachers and friends for the way they have helped him along.

He said: “The school has been brilliant. There are rooms I can go if I need to. I have a nurse who makes sure I’m ok and my pals are so supportive.” Kay Dingwall, headteacher at Knightswood Secondary, said: “We have a lot of exceptional young people at the school but Samuel always has a smile.

“He gets involved in everything he can. His family is so resilient and I only wish I could bottle up some of his positive attitude to life.

“We recently had a visit from Matthew Barzun, the US Ambassador, and he awarded Samuel a special prize in recognition of his tremendous determination, humility and strength of character.

“Samuel epitomises all the values we as a school community are trying to live.” An old head on young shoulders, Samuel has left no stone unturned during the setting up of his charity.

The little pink heart which features in the logo is a tribute to his little sister, Savannah Rose, who passed away at nine weeks and five days old.

She had been born with the less severe short segment form of Hirschsprung’s Disease and was on the road to recovery before she died in her sleep.

Samuel commented: “My little sister passed away but she will always be remembered because of the little heart.

“There have been tough times but my faith has really helped me through.

“There is very little awareness of Hirschsprung’s Disease and sufferers often do not receive much support as a result.

“This is an opportunity for them to forget about all their troubles and enjoy an experience with their loved ones that they will never forget.” Commenting on his own health, Samuel added: “There have been lots of times where it has been touch and go and I don’t know what is going to happen next.

“I never quite know what to expect but right now, I’m keeping busy with school work and getting the charity organised.

“I’m doing just fine.” More information on the work of Samuel’s Smile can be found via the organisation’s Facebook page, its Twitter feed @Samuels_Smile and its website: www.

***A keen eye for a story*** Samuel has aspirations to work in the media and is already gaining regular sports shifts at a daily newspaper.

He has been demonstrating a keen eye for a story from an early age — none more so than when he met royalty in October 2004.

Then aged six, Samuel was mixing with a room of distinguished guests at the opening of the Scottish Parliament. Security was tight and, aside from a small designated time frame, there was to be no photography.

Lord Jack McConnell, then First Minister, told the youngster there was someone he should see and carried Samuel on his shoulders to meet HM the Queen.

Upon realising the high-profile of his guest, Samuel immediately reached for his camera — much to the horror of nearby security. With good grace, HM brushed off the bodyguards and Samuel shouted “Smile” and captured the image, thus gaining his own special memory from the opening of Scotland’s parliament.