Kieran Smart was born at the Royal United Hospital in Bath weighing just over 2lbs after his mother, Laura Pocock, was in labour for just 15 minutes.

Now four years old, Kieran was not one of the smallest babies to be born on the NICU ward but he still needed its specialist care for nearly three months.

The birth was so quick that Kieran's father Daniel Smart, 21, and Miss Pocock's family missed it by six minutes. She said: "I was all alone but I was so overwhelmed by it all I don't remember actually having him.

"They said your baby's coming and I said no it isn't' and just cried."

Miss Pocock, 21, who lives in Chippenham, was only 17 when she had her son andsays the staff at NICU treated her no differently from other, older mums.

"I thought all the doctors were all brilliant, they were really honest. When Kieran was two weeks old he got an infection and they said his chances were slim.

"They would ask if we had understood everything after we saw the doctor and if we didn't they would explain everything."

Miss Pocock is pleased that the Forever friends Appeal is campaigning to raise £4.5 million to improve the facilities for premature and seriously ill babies.

She said: "It could do with being a bit bigger. The small rooms are cramped and you could only have two people in at a time, so if someone was trying to bath their baby it wasn't very nice."

Miss Pocock said that a big problem was trying to respect other peoples privacy in the small spaces provided. She said: "There were signs on the windows saying you're not supposed to look at the other babies and you can't really help it when they're right next to you."

Kieran has learning difficulties and has just been diagnosed with suspected autism. He also has hydrocephalus and scarred kidneys.

He goes to Springboard Opportunity playgroup twice a week which Miss Pocock says he loves.

Kieran and his mum took part in a charity walk with Springboard playgroup and hope to raise even more money for the Forever Friends Appeal.

For information about the Forever Friends Appeal and how to raise money visit