A mother of twin girls who were born nine weeks early has been inspired to become a nurse following the care her children received at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

Katy Gillis was so grateful for the support given to her after her daughters were born extremely poorly that she will also be running the Sage Reading Half Marathon in March.

Katy's pregnancy was difficult and complicated, and she knew from very early on that her identical twin girls would be delivered early. They had developed a life-threatening condition called TTTS (twin to twin transfusion syndrome), a condition in which twin babies have a shared placenta and blood circulation.

At 31 weeks, Katy had an emergency c-section to bring the girls into the world prematurely. Tiny sisters Poppy and Maggie were rushed straight to Buscot Ward.

They were so unwell that Katy didn't get the chance to cuddle her newborn babies.

"This broke my heart, as it would any mother," she said.

"When I finally saw them five hours later, they looked so tiny and so poorly in their incubators. Maggie was fully ventilated and Poppy was on CPAP - a ventilator that maintains continuous positive airway pressure.

"They were both covered in wires and had cannulas in their hands. It was such a worrying time."

After six days, the girls were moved from intensive care to high dependency, and without any further setbacks they began to gain weight after learning to feed, and they were able to regulate their body temperatures.

The girls were strong enough to go home after 25 days in hospital.

The experience had a profound effect on Katy, who said: “Our time in the incredible care of Buscot Ward is one I will never forget.

"It made such an impression on me that this month I join the team as a senior nursery nurse. It’s also inspired me to run Reading Half to raise as much money as possible for BIBS, who fund so many aspects that make the ward special - from life-saving equipment to parent facilities and a Family Support Practitioner, without any of which our experience would have been very different."

To support Katy, visit her Justgiving page.