Tampa, Florida - "She's just a fighter." That's how Nicole Nugent at Tampa General Hospital describes her daughter. "She's an inspiration to me."
And the little girl who lost her legs in a horrific lawnmower accident may be an inspiration for a lot of folks as she fights to heal from her severe injuries.
The toddler did have a bit of a setback this week after doctors found dead skin on her right leg. That discovery and the resulting surgery Tuesday disappointed her parents, but according to Mom, it didn't faze Ireland one bit.
"The mood she was in this morning, she was happy and playing, I was kind of like no -- we're still going forward, a minor setback, but we're still going forward," said Nicole.
While not handling Ireland's case, experts at St. Petersburg Limb and Brace have no doubts that the little girl will do well with artificial legs. And while Ireland's family is anxious to have her fitted for prosthetics, Gina Vittetoe says it's important not to rush the healing process.
"If they're not fully healed, you stand the chance of the incision breaking open again and maybe causing infection," says Vittetoe, a certified prosthetist.
Nicole Nugent says she doesn't think Ireland truly understands the extent of her injuries, but that may come in time.
"She's getting more curious, because she's lifting it up and looking and touching," describes Nicole.
And Ireland's family once again thanks everyone for the support they've received from people around the country.
"It lifts you up every day," says Nicole. "Every time you start getting sad and you read another message and get another card, you feel a sense of community -- like we're in this together."
You can follow Ireland's recover on this Facebook page. To help her family with medical expenses click here.
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