ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A toddler who lost her feet when her father accidentally backed a lawn mower over her is undergoing surgery on Monday.
Ireland Nugent, who is 2 ½, will have surgery at Tampa General Hospital to close her wounds and prepare her for prosthetic feet
Financial help is pouring in for the family, who live in Palm Harbor, a Tampa-area suburb.
According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Jerry Nugent, Ireland’s father, accidentally backed his riding lawn mower over Ireland on Wednesday, severing both her legs below the knees and cutting open one of her hands.
Last week Trinity Presbyterian Church in Clearwater established a fund to care for 2 1/2 -year-old Ireland Nugent’s medical care. The Tampa Bay Times (http://bit.ly/XBHiP3 ) reports more than $16,000 has been donated.
The Rev. Dennis Reid says about 10 people who also lost limbs in lawn mower accidents have called offering to help.
Ex-wrestler and amputee Steve Chamberland told the newspaper he’s prepared to supply the girl with a lifetime of top-quality prosthetics, which could be a commitment of $100,000 or more. Chamberland is the founder of the charity 50 Legs in 50 Days. But the little girl will need replacements often — especially when she’s growing.
“I’ve gotten so close to the family from spending time with them every day,” Chamberland told the paper on Sunday. “I want what’s best for the kid.”
He will raise money for her through fundraisers and with help from the charity’s board, which includes wrestler Terry “Hulk Hogan” Bollea and business people, he said.
Ireland’s parents also plan to work with Shriners Hospital for Children, near the University of South Florida’s Tampa campus.
Shriners wants to provide free comprehensive medical care, including prosthetic feet and rehabilitation, said hospital spokeswoman Jamie Santillo Parker.
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