A girl who weighed just 1lb 7oz at birth celebrated her 16th birthday this week, surrounded by family and friends at home in Trowbridge.

Megan Taylor-Brown was born by emergency caesarian 12 weeks early on September 11, 1996, after her mother, Charisse Brown, was rushed to hospital with eclampsia and dangerously high blood pressure.

Ms Brown, of Lamb Ale Green, said: “I went to Trow-bridge Hospital to get my blood pressure checked and they said it was at a dangerous level.”

Within an hour, Ms Brown was having an emergency caesarian. She said: “The next thing I knew, I woke up in the hospital and was told I had a little girl. If they hadn’t operated, both of us would have died.

“She was absolutely weeny and transparent; you could see every organ and vein.”

Megan spent three months in hospital before being allowed home with breathing equipment once she weighed 5lbs.

Ms Brown said: “I’m not religious, but I’d never prayed like I did in those three months.

“The worst thing was seeing all these needles and tubes in her. I couldn’t get her out of the incubator and hold her. It was awful.”

Megan, a pupil at John of Gaunt School, said: “When I look at the photos, I feel lucky.”

Ms Brown added: “My friends tell me I need to loosen the apron strings, but I’ve spent all that time protecting her, that it’s difficult.

“I’d like to thank the newborn intensive care unit at Bath RUH and the ante-natal staff at Trowbridge Hospital.”