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Ireland Nugent comes home from hospital

6:55 PM, May 4, 2013   |    comments
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PALM HARBOR, Florida -- As a young girl kisses Ireland Nugent's cast, you can see just how happy the 2-year-old's family and community are to have their little girl home.

Ever since a lawnmower accident severed her legs nearly a month ago, they've all been waiting for her to be released from Tampa General Hospital. 

Ireland's day started with kisses from dad Jerry and a big seal of approval, as a final checkup showed Ireland could be cleared to return to her tight-knit neighborhood in Palm Harbor.

That excitement spread quickly.

"Mama, they're here!" children could be heard shouting as the Nugent family van drove down the street toward their home.

"Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to everybody who's shown love and support and caring for this little girl we love so much," Ireland's mom, Nicole, told a crowd of neighbors, friends, family, and media. "It's been amazing. I guess I never really knew how much we were loved."

Also see: Only on 10: Inside Ireland Nugent's hospital room

Since this tragedy, the Nugent family seems to have grown a lot bigger, to include people like Steve Chamberland. The man who runs the nonprofit 50 Legs has been by the Nugent family's side constantly. Three to four weeks from now, he will be helping Ireland be fitted for prosthetic legs.

"Just her being home is going to help the healing process now because the family gets to be normal," he said.

Cameron Smith helped to plant the seeds for an idea to help fill the Nugents' yard with flowers while they were in the hospital.

Through an effort on eBay, people could help buy the flowers. Then, neighbors volunteered to plant them.

"I thought this would be fun for them to come home to, something beautiful and fun for the kids to see. Beautiful flowers," Smith said. "And who doesn't like flowers?"

Each one adds to the celebration of Ireland coming home.

"I think we've got some serious snuggle time happening tonight," Nicole said.

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