Ireland Nugent: Last surgery today for toddler hurt in lawnmower accident

10:48 AM, Apr 15, 2013   |    comments
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Clearwater, Florida -- By early afternoon, two-year old Ireland Nugent is expected to be out of surgery and awake.

Doctors at Tampa General Hospital started operating on her at 9:30 a.m. Monday, her pastor said. The surgery is expected to last several hours.

The operation will close any remaining wounds and prepare her for prosthetic feet. She lost both feet just above the ankles in a lawnmower accident in front of her Palm Harbor home last week.

Nugent has apparently been kept unconscious for a time and doctors plan to wake her after this surgery.

In the days since 2-year-old Ireland Nugent was severely hurt in a lawnmower accident, she and her family have received an outpouring of support.

The Shriners Hospitals for Children location on USF's Tampa campus has told Ireland's family it is prepared to take over her care from now until she turns 18.

The family's church, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Clearwater, has helped raise more than $15,000 in donations.

People from across the country have called the church to express their sympathy or share stories of similar tragedies. Others are helping the family with meals, lawn care, and fundraisers.

On Sunday, Pastor Dr. Dennis Reid wanted to provide a donation of hope.

"I wanted to get across today that we don't always have answers," he said after the church's morning service. "But we do have each other."

Ireland is one of seven children. Her mother, Nicole, is the director of the preschool at Trinity Presbyterian. Her family is a huge part of their family of faith. Reid says Ireland's parents are fantastic and live for their children. He remembers playing with Ireland at the church the day before the accident.

"I was running around chasing her in the hall," Reid said, "and Nicole called me this morning and said, 'I wanted to tell you what [Ireland] said when I put her in the car that day. She said, "I love him. He's Justin Bieber." '"

"Today's worship service is just a chance for all of us who know that family so well and have seen that little girl walking around for a couple years and fallen in love with her just like everyone else has," added family friend Scott Warnock. "It allows us to get together to give hugs, to give prayers."

Ireland, who lost her feet on Wednesday after accidentally being run over by the lawnmower her father was driving, is getting ready for her final surgery on Monday. Her wounds will be closed and her legs amputated to the degree that doctors feel is the best for prosthesis.

How to donate: Trinity Presbyterian has started a Facebook page to provide updates on Ireland's condition. The church has also created a PayPal account to accept donations.

The Pinellas Federal Credit Union has established a fund in Ireland's name. You can go to any branch location and drop off a check made out to Pinellas Federal Credit Union with "Ireland Nugent Fund" written in the memo field. You can also send your donation to:

Pinellas Federal Credit Union
PO Box 2300
Largo, FL 33779-2300

Checks can also be made out to the Trinity Presbyterian Foundation, with "Ireland Nugent" in the memo field, and mailed to:

Trinity Presbterian Church
2001 Rainbow Drive
Clearwater, Florida 33765

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