Lawn mower victim opens eyes at Tampa General after surgery - WFLA News Channel 8

Lawn mower victim opens eyes at Tampa General after surgery

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Doctors said, the two-year-old who lost part of both legs in a lawn mower accident, opened her eyes Tuesday after a series of surgeries. Ireland Nugent breathes without a vent now. She is still resting after sedation and heavy pain medications. 

While she recovers, her parents are amazed and encouraged by an outpouring of support from the community.

Trinity Presbyterian Church put out the call for help, and members answered.  The church has already raised more than $15,633.17 for Ireland Nugent's family. The pastor at the Clearwater church the family attends told members what happened to the girl earlier this week.  

"There was a tragic accident last week in which Ireland Nugent was run over by a lawn mower that was being driven by her father," said Reverend Dr. Dennis Reid.  "It severed both of her legs just above the ankle. She was rushed, bayflighted to Tampa General Hospital where she underwent two surgeries that night. The first surgery was to cleanse the wounds."

Deputies say Ireland's father, Jeremiah, was mowing the lawn when the toddler ran behind him.  Nicole Nugent, Ireland's mother, tried yelling and waving to get her daughter to come back, but investigators say, Jeremiah thought that his wife was trying to tell him, something was in front of him. He put the mower in reverse, and ran over the girl.

Reid, who's spoken on the family's behalf, says Ireland has gone through several surgeries and doctors say she seems to be doing well.  She's battling a fever, but shows no signs of infection.

Shortly after the accident, Nicole Nugent told reporters she believes her daughter will walk again.  

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

If you'd like to help, click on the following links:

Trinity Presbyterian Church has set up an "Ireland Nugent Fund." 

Pinellas Federal Credit Union has also set up a fund.  Ireland's father works for Pinellas County.

50 Legs has promised to provide Ireland with prosthetics for the rest of her life. 

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