Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Help pours in for girl injured in lawn mower accident

Ireland Nugent, 2 1/2, shown in a family photo, lost her lower legs when she was accidentally run over by a lawn mower last week .

Ireland Nugent, 2 1/2, shown in a family photo, lost her lower legs when she was accidentally run over by a lawn mower last week .

ST. PETERSBURG — Ireland Nugent, the spunky 2 1/2-year-old who lost her feet to a lawn mower accident last week, is prompting an outpouring of emotional and financial support from charities, local celebrities and people around the country.

In the four days since Trinity Presbyterian Church in Clearwater established a fund to collect money for her medical care, people have donated more than $16,000.

A Hillsborough County hospital and a former professional wrestler from Seminole are offering to help with prosthetics and comprehensive care.

And about 10 people who also lost limbs in lawn mower accidents have called to offer their support, said the Rev. Dennis Reid, Trinity's pastor.

Ireland's father accidentally backed a lawn mower over the toddler Wednesday at their Palm Harbor home, severing both legs just above the ankles.

"Tons of people have contacted me to talk to me about benefit concerts and other ways they want to help," Reid said Sunday. "I heard Bubba the Love Sponge wants to help. … I sent him an email but haven't heard back yet."

Ireland's parents are delaying decisions about her medical future until she gets past today's surgery at Tampa General Hospital, when doctors are closing her wounds and preparing her for prosthetic feet.

But the Nugents plan to work with Shriners Hospital for Children, near the University of South Florida's Tampa campus, and ex-wrestler and amputee Steve Chamberland, Reid said.

Shriners wants to provide free comprehensive medical care, including prosthetic feet and rehabilitation, Jamie Santillo Parker, a hospital spokeswoman, said Sunday.

And Chamberland said he's prepared to supply Ireland with a lifetime of top-quality prosthetics, a commitment of $100,000 or more.

Chamberland, founder of the charity 50 Legs in 50 Days, has the money for the first set of feet, he said. But Ireland will need replacements often — especially when she's growing.

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.

"I've gotten so close to the family from spending time with them every day," Chamberland said Sunday. "I want what's best for the kid."

The Nugents have insurance. Jerry, the father, works for Pinellas County and the mother, Nicole is a church preschool director. But out-of-pocket costs could also be steep.

Many insurance companies cap payments for prosthetics. And the family has accrued big bills for Bayflite transportation to Tampa General Hospital, physician services and hospital care, the Tampa Bay Times reported Friday.

Even so, said Reid, the family's minister, the outreach has been remarkable.

"At the heart of most people is compassion," Reid said. "People want to reach out and help this little girl's life."

Contact Brittany Alana Davis at bdavis@tampabay.com or (850) 323-0353.

>>to help

Where to send donations

Two funds have been set up to accept donations for Ireland Nugent's family:

• Trinity Presbyterian Church: Checks can be made out to "Trinity Presbyterian Foundation'' (with '"Ireland Nugent'' on the memo line) and sent to Trinity Presbyterian Church, 2001 Rainbow Drive, Clearwater, FL 33765. Or donate by credit card online:

www.trinityclearwater.org.

• Pinellas County government has arranged for a special fund through Pinellas Federal Credit Union in Ireland Nugent's name. Find details online at www.pinellasfcu.org or call (727) 586-4422.

• To make a donation to Shriners Hospitals for Children, call 800-241-GIFT.

• The charity 50 Legs in 50 Days accepts donations through its website at www.50legs.org.

Help pours in for girl injured in lawn mower accident 04/14/13 [Last modified: Sunday, April 14, 2013 11:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump's lawyers seek to undercut Mueller's Russia investigation

    Politics

    Some of President Donald Trump's lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president's authority to grant pardons, the Washington Post reported, citing people familiar …

    President Donald Trump is said to be irritated by the notion that the special counsel's investigation could reach into his and his family's finances. [Associated Press]
  2. North Tampa shooting leaves one man dead

    Crime

    Times staff

    TAMPA — A man was fatally shot Thursday afternoon after an argument with another man escalated, police said.

  3. St. Pete City Council tightens building rules in historic areas

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — There's a battle being waged over the soul of the city's historic neighborhoods.

    A new larger home sits next to a smaller one in the Kenwood neighborhood in St. Petersburg on Tuesday.
  4. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns over 'inappropriate conduct' (w/ video)

    College

    OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was at Jackson Country Club on Wednesday night, giving his yearly rah-rah speech about the Rebels overcoming adversity and getting ready for the college football season.

    If Hugh Freeze hadn’t resigned, Ole Miss says it would have fired him for violating his contract’s moral turpitude clause.
  5. Fennelly: With playoff chase in high gear, it's time for Rays to make a move

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Thursday was an off-day for the Rays, who are coming off a solid western swing. I assume there was no rest for the tag-team Rays baseball brain trust of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom, whose job it is to improve this team in advance of the trade deadline. They've done a good job …

    Evan Longoria is glad to see the Rangers coming to town: He’s batting .296 against them with 15 homers and 56 RBIs in 69 career games.