Lorna Bishop was born at the Bath Royal United Hospital in its NICU ward just over ten years ago.

Her parents Tracey, 29, and Andy, 36, from Woodlands Road, Chippenham, can vividly remember their months in the unit back in 1997 and say that it is about time the ward was updated.

Lorna was born weighing just 1lb 13oz on July 15 1997, after Mrs Bishop went into labour nearly four months early.

She said: "We went to Malmesbury and within half an hour I was taken straight to Bath. I was shocked and scared but we didn't know what brought it on or why she was early."

After four months in the neo-natal intensive care unit Lorna was sent home to make a full recovery but just after her first birthday she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Mrs Bishop, who also has another daughter, Amelia, aged seven, said: "It was a year until she was diagnosed because she wasn't crawling at the right age.

"The doctors were worried about it and they got me in contact with the paediatrician. It was a big shock and we just didn't know what to think.

"The staff helped make things less stressful by talking and explaining it all to us. They answered all our questions."

Even though statistics show that the number of premature births have increased since 1997 Mr and Mrs Bishop say that the unit was overcrowded back then.

"It was small. There wasn't enough room or somewhere for the families to be private, especially when other mums and dads were in the room because there was four or five other incubators in there as well."

Mr and Mrs Bishop travelled to Bath every day by train to spend time with Lorna in NICU. Mrs Bishop said the staff made their situation easier to cope with.

"They were lovely and really helpful. We got to know them quite well. I can remember it quite clearly. I've seen some of the nurses around Chippenham and I still talk to the mums who I met there."

She added: "Family helped as well, they visited. There wasn't room but they came one at a time."

Lorna goes to St Nicholas' School in Chippenham because of her disabilities. Mrs Bishop said: "She loves it.

"She's confident now. School's helped her a bit. She can walk but not like other ten-year-olds and she's got a few words."

Lorna also has poor eyesight and suffers from epilepsy but it is not known if this is linked to her premature birth.

Mr and Mrs Bishop say they have already been encouraging both of their daughters' schools to help raise money for the Space to Grow campaign.

Mrs Bishop said: "We've asked Amelia's school to do a Ted's Big Day Out and St Nicholas' do something every year."

The Forever Friends Appeal needs to raise £4.5 million to build the new NICU ward. So far more than £600,000 has been raised.