2-year-old who lost legs in accident takes to prosthetics
TAMPA, Fla. — A toddler whose feet were amputated after her father accidentally backed over her with a riding lawnmower took her first steps on her new prosthetic test legs.
Ireland Nugent has been in a wheelchair and has undergone seven surgeries since the April 11 accident. Doctors warned she may be hesitant at first after being fitted for the test legs, but the little girl promptly took off walking as soon as they were on. She fell once but immediately got back up.
“I'm just speechless and so proud,” said her father, Jerry Nugent, who recorded her steps. “She took it over the top. ... She's not ever going to hold back. That's my superhero. That's my angel.”
The Tampa Bay Times reports that Ireland quickly became emotionally attached to the legs. When the prosthetist said he would need the test limbs back, the little girl said she wanted to keep them. It didn't hurt that the sneakers attached to the prosthetics were pink Velcro with Dora the Explorer stickers.
Ireland was to practice with them Monday night in a hotel room before receiving her finished prosthetics Tuesday. The final limbs were set to feature Minnie Mouse and Dora. She will need new prosthetics about every three months, at first. The limbs can cost between $1,000 to nearly $11,000 each time, and the Nugents said they are still figuring out what their insurance will cover.
The community has rallied around Ireland since the accident, raising tens of thousands of dollars for her medical care.
And while doctors inserted cartilage at the end of Ireland's stumps to slow bone growth, Nicole said Ireland could need more surgeries as she grows.
The 2-year-old's father was driving a riding mower up the driveway of their Palm Harbor home when Ireland ran out from a backyard enclosure and got behind him. Her mother motioned for him to stop, but he misinterpreted her signals and backed the mower up, running over the toddler.
The toddler's steps on her new legs were taken in front of a crowd of supporters, including neighbor Aly Smith, who is credited with helping to save her life by applying pressure to the wounds.
Ireland's mom, Nicole Nugent, said she was flooded with emotions.
“Excited. Scared. Saddened that we even have to be doing this, but at the same time happy that we are able to do this,” Nicole said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Liability of gun shops at stake in Wisconsin civil trial
- Ex-coal CEO Blankenship talks safety in secretly recorded calls
- Propane, oil prices expected to be lower over winter
- Residents fear environmental concerns take precedence over human issues in N.C. pollution cleanup
- Claims of fired Benghazi panel member countered by chairman
- Inmates help dying prisoners in Ohio hospice
- Sagging inflation expected to rule out Social Security cost-of-living adjustment
- Dell buying EMC in a transaction valued at about $67 billion
- Wyoming fire forces evacuations
- Top U.S. general wants more troops in Afghanistan