Ireland Nugent: Tampa, Florida girl injured by lawn mower preparing to return home from hospital

Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. -- A Tampa Bay-area toddler whose legs were severed in a lawn-mower accident is preparing to return home from the hospital, according to a family spokesman.

Both of Ireland Nugent's legs were amputated at mid-calf when her father accidentally backed a riding lawn mower over her April 11.

The family's pastor, Dennis Reid of Trinity Presbyterian Church, tells the Tampa Bay Times that the 2-year-old's most recent surgery and skin graft were successful. Reid said Thursday that Ireland should be able to return to her Palm Harbor home over the weekend.

Ireland has undergone multiple surgeries and skin grafts since the accident. She suffered a setback last week when doctors discovered dead tissue on one of her legs, requiring another skin graft.

A video posted online by the newspaper shows Ireland alert and playing with toys in her hospital bed, her legs swaddled in multiple bandages.

"She's been very strong throughout this whole process. In fact, it's been hard for us to even read that she's been in pain at times. I kind of have to read her physical cues because she just doesn't cry," said the girl's mother, Nicole Nugent. "She's just happy and spunky, and it keeps us going."

Ireland could be fitted for prosthetic legs in three to six weeks, Reid said.

"When I see her, it's like a weight lifted. I know she's there and she's going to be OK," said Ireland's father, Jerry Nugent.

The little girl was injured when she ran after her father as he rode a lawn mower up the driveway at their home. Her mother frantically motioned for him to stop, but he misunderstood and put the lawn mower in reverse and backed over Ireland.

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