Ireland Nugent, the 2-year-old Palm Harbor girl who lost part of her legs in a lawn mower accident, met a new friend today: Winter the dolphin.
Ireland initially cried at the sight of Winter, Bay News 9 reported. But, the newscaster said, with her parents' encouragement, she soon reached out and touched Winter, looked at her family and friends and smiled."
Winter, who lost her tail to a crab trap, was the subject of a series of articles in the Tampa Bay Times and inspired the 2011 motion picture, Dolphin Tale. Through these events she has become an ambassador of sorts to those who have lost limbs.
"Children are walking today who otherwise would not have walked," Kevin Carroll, a vice president for Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics Inc., told the Times in 2008.