Toddler in lawnmower accident expected to walk again - FOX 35 News Orlando

Toddler in lawnmower accident expected to walk again

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

A toddler who lost parts of her legs in an accident with a riding lawnmower has been undergoing surgeries and is in serious condition.

Two-year-old Ireland Nugent fell near the lawnmower her father was on Wednesday night, severing her feet.

Her parents Jeremiah and Nicole Nugent appeared at a press conference Thursday afternoon. Nicole Nugent said it appears Ireland will eventually be able to wear prosthetics, and they are optimistic she will be able to walk again.

In the meantime, she is in the intensive care unit, and is sedated.

"She clearly does not know what is happening to her right now -- she is comfortable," her mother told reporters Thursday.

Emergency rescue crews were called to family's home in Palm Harbor Wednesday night. The girl's father was driving the mower when the she ran toward it. She slipped and fell, and the father was unable to stop the mower in time.

Nicole Nugent said their next door neighbor is a nurse, and without her immediate assistance, Ireland may not have survived.

"She saved my daughter's life," Nicole said.

Ireland was flown to Tampa General Hospital. So far, she has had two surgeries and is scheduled for two more. One was to put a pin in her thumb. The others are to cleanse and close the wounds on her legs.

Nicole Nugent said she is holding up okay. Nicole's father Jeremiah also appeared at the news conference, but did not speak. He stood behind his wife with his hands on her shoulders, and Nicole said he was not holding up as well.

Their other children are 11, 9, 5 years old, and Nicole described a house where every precaution is taken to keep young children safe.

"Never in my life did I think this would happen to my child. We were so cautious with pool gates and locks and everything on our doors. We have all the knob protectors and medical locks and never have I thought that this is something that could happen to my child," Nugent said.

The family is hopeful, and card for by a good Samaritan. Steve Chamberland, a former pro-wrestler who lost his own leg, will pay for the prosthetics through his charity, 50 Legs.

"I told the parents upstairs, the best thing about this is she is below the knee. So every time you are upset know that she is just going to walk just as normal as you are and I walk now," he said.

A hopeful prediction, but is there any way to know for sure? Jennica Baker can offer some insight. Twenty years ago, it happened to her -- she lost her leg to the blades of a lawn mower, making news headlines at age two, just like Ireland.

"I just did everything that everybody else would," she said.

The Largo High School graduate never seemed to miss a beat. Baker introduced herself to Ireland's family with a message.

"As long as that little girl has the strength and the people that tell her she can do it, she'll be able to do anything she wants. As long as she has the right support there's nothing she can't do in this world," she said.

Anything she wants just might be what this 2-year-old could one day achieve.

"This is not going to stop Ireland. Of all the children in the world this will not stop Ireland," Nugent said.

Ireland's next surgery is scheduled for Saturday.


A family spokesman said  a fund had been set up to help the Nugents. For more information, contact:

Trinity Presbyterian Church
2001 Rainbow Drive
Clearwater, FL 33765




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