Tuesday, April 24, 2018
News Roundup

Mower victim Ireland Nugent celebrates third birthday with party

PALM HARBOR

It was a princess birthday party.

Ariel and Cinderella figurines smiled next to a castle atop a cake. Girls touted paper crowns on their heads.

But during dress up, as the little girls picked costumes from a rack and twirled in their flowing tulle dresses, Ireland Nugent, the birthday girl, squirmed out of her light blue gown.

"I want to be Spider-Man!" she screeched.

Moments later, Ireland got her wish. Now dressed in a Spider-Man suit too big for her, she sat on the floor with all the princesses and decorated her paper crown with stickers.

On Sunday, the Nugent family and dozens of loved ones celebrated Ireland's third birthday. For her parents, Nicole and Jerry Nugent, it was much more than a party.

"It's just not her birthday to us, it's just a celebration of being here," Nicole said. "I think this is a day we will never forget."

On April 11, Ireland lost her lower legs and feet when her father accidentally backed over her on his riding lawn mower in the driveway of the family's Palm Harbor home.

A few weeks later, she was released from the hospital. In June, she began walking on prostheses. Then came more doctor's visits and physical therapy sessions.

But on Sunday, for at least a few hours, the focus was on Ireland's birthday.

"It's another moment we've been waiting for," Jerry Nugent said. "It's so great to be here with her celebrating her birthday since the accident."

Ireland's next milestone: more surgery.

On Thursday, she will undergo surgery at Tampa General Hospital to shave down the bone of her right leg. Doctors have told the Nugents their daughter could face this kind of surgery as she continues to grow.

Five days after the procedure, Ireland will turn 3.

She doesn't wear her prostheses as often because it causes her discomfort, Nicole said. She didn't wear them during the birthday party.

After the surgery, the family will visit Prosthetic and Orthotic Associates in Orlando once again for Ireland's second pair of prosthetic legs.

Since the accident, about $150,000 has been donated to the Nugents for Ireland's medical expenses. On Sunday, the music, decorations, costumes, and games were donated by Rockin' Glam Parties of Largo.

The party was held at the Nugents' neighborhood club house. As presents piled up near the fireplace, Ireland sat in a small circle and played hot potato.

She smiled as her mother carried her and swayed to the music. She had a pretzel and juice break with her dad.

And after the Spider-Man suit became too hot, she swam with pink floaties in the clubhouse pool.

Contact Laura C. Morel at [email protected] or (727)445-4157.

 
Comments

High school scoreboard for April 24

Tuesday’s scoreboardBaseballCalvary Chr. 8, Jesuit 1Boys TennisClass 3A, District 9-10 Regional Semifinal: Osceola 4, King 1Girls TennisClass 3A, District 9-10 Regional Semifinal: Osceola 4, Freedom 1...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Days before graduation, crash kills Lakewood High senior, injures two others

Days before graduation, crash kills Lakewood High senior, injures two others

ST. PETERSBURG — Caps and gowns were in the future for Bryson Welton-Williams and his two friends.Then came Tuesday’s horrific car crash.The three 18-year-old Lakewood High School seniors drove off from school a few minutes early, just 22 days away f...
Updated: 1 hour ago
SRO being investigated in Pasco County for arrest of student

SRO being investigated in Pasco County for arrest of student

LAND O’LAKES — A school resource officer at Sunlake High School is under investigation after he tried to take a female student into custody on Tuesday, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.School officials asked the SRO remove the student f...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Teen killed after SUV runs red light; man who fled scene captured

Teen killed after SUV runs red light; man who fled scene captured

NEW PORT RICHEY — A 17-year-old girl was killed Tuesday when her car was hit by a sport-utility vehicle that ran a red light, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.One of the occupants of the SUV who ran from the crash scene was captured hours late...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Softball: Haley Murphy, East Bay back in top form

Softball: Haley Murphy, East Bay back in top form

PLANT CITY — East Bay senior Haley Murphy had to take a few games off early this season to give the flaring tendinitis in her left knee a rest.When Murphy did come back around midseason, East Bay coach Glenn Rodriguez eased her into the fl...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Sarasota student, family apologize for racist ‘promposal’

Sarasota student, family apologize for racist ‘promposal’

The family of the 18-year-old Sarasota high school student under fire for the racist prom proposal he sent out on social media this weekend has publicly apologized for their son’s actions.They also said that as a result of his actions, he will not at...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Softball: Boca Ciega gets a shot at defending district champ

DUNEDIN — Standing in centerfield during her team's Class 6A-9 district semifinal Tuesday night, Boca Ciega's Mia Blasingane had one dominating thought: "We want Tarpon Springs real bad. I was saying that to myself. I want to see Tarpon Springs...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Softball: Alonso knocks off defending state finalist PHU in 9A-8 semifinals

PALM HARBOR — To get an idea of just how tough the competition is in Class 9A, District 8, consider that there has been a different tournament champion each of the past three seasons.All three — Newsome (2015), Alonso (2016) and Palm Harb...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays Journal: On the early rainout, pitching plans, medical matters, more

Rays Journal: On the early rainout, pitching plans, medical matters, more

BALTIMORE – If the Rays were going to get rained out Tuesday, they were happy  the Orioles made the decision at a good hour, around 5 p.m."I think they probably did the right thing in the fact that they knew there's a bunch of rain coming,...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Carlos Gomez says he was guilty of only one thing in Sunday’s epic celebration

Carlos Gomez says he was guilty of only one thing in Sunday’s epic celebration

BALTIMORE – Carlos Gomez is perfectly willing to explain the specific elements that went into his epic celebration tour around the bases following Sunday's walkoff home run.The bat flip and raised arms were his initial reaction to how well he h...
Updated: 3 hours ago