Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Out of the hospital, Ireland Nugent welcomed back to church


The last time Nicole Nugent brought her daughter Ireland to church, the 2-year-old ran down the hallway, playing a game with the pastor.

On Sunday, the family's first time back to church since Ireland lost her legs in a lawn mower accident, the toddler stuck close to her mother's lap.

"It's a different homecoming," Nugent said. "But one that brings us peace to know that we're back and she still is Ireland and still is that happy little girl, just not running yet, but will be."

Ireland's story, which began one night in April when she escaped a backyard enclosure at her Palm Harbor home and ran behind her father Jerry's lawn mower as it was backing up, has captivated people at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Clearwater, and outside as well.

Ireland was released last week from Tampa General Hospital.

She now will be fitted with prosthetic limbs.

Pastor Dennis Reid announced Sunday that between congregants' donations and other contributions, more than $110,000 has been raised for the family.

"The word went out and people automatically went out to help," said Laurie Love, a member of Trinity Presbyterian.

Reid said the church is helping the Nugents set up a charitable trust for their daughter that people will be able to donate to directly.

On Sunday, Ireland — dressed in a pink top and purple skirt — sat on her mother's lap and played with 9-year-old sister Ariyana.

Since the toddler returned home from the hospital, she has been climbing and crawling on everything, Nugent said.

"She's still 2," she said. "She's doing basically everything she was doing except walking. Now I'm walking for her."

Out of the hospital, Ireland Nugent welcomed back to church 05/12/13 [Last modified: Sunday, May 12, 2013 9:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Fewer Tampa Bay homeowners are underwater on their mortgages

    Real Estate

    The percentage of Tampa Bay homeowners underwater on their mortgages continues to drop. In the second quarter of this year, 10.2 percent of borrowers had negative equity compared to nearly 15 percent in the same period a year ago, CoreLogic reported Thursday. Nationally, 5.4 percent of all mortgaged homes were …

    The percentage of Tampa Bay homeowners underwater on their mortgages  continues to drop. [Times file photo]
  2. Mexico anxiously awaits the fate of a 12-year-old schoolgirl after deadly earthquake


    MEXICO CITY — A sprawling earthquake recovery effort spanning several states turned intensely personal Thursday as Mexicans were riveted by an effort to save a 12-year-old girl who was pinned in the rubble of her elementary school.

    Search and rescue efforts continue at the Enrique Rebsamen school in Mexico City, Mexico, Thursday. Tuesday's magnitude 7.1 earthquake has stunned central Mexico, killing more than 200 people as buildings collapsed in plumes of dust. ]AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell]
  3. 'What Happened'? Clinton memoir sold 300,000 copies in first week


    Despite being met with decidedly mixed reviews, What Happened, Hillary Clinton's new memoir about the 2016 presidential campaign, sold a whopping 300,000 copies in its first week.

    The new memoir by former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sold 300,000 copies in its first week.
  4. After Irma topples tree, home sale may be gone with the wind

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — To house hunters searching online, the home for sale in St. Petersburg's Shore Acres neighborhood couldn't have looked more appealing — fully renovated and shaded by the leafy canopy of a magnificent ficus benjamini tree.

    Hurricane Irma's winds recently blew over a large ficus tree, left, in the yard of a home at 3601Alabama Ave NE, right, in Shore Acres which is owned by Brett Schroder who is trying to sell the house.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  5. Bucs' Josh Robinson excited for return to Vikings


    For much of Josh Robinson's four seasons with the Vikings, there was excitement leading up to the arrival of the $1.1-billion U.S. Bank Stadium, which opened last season, just as Robinson signed with the …

    Josh Robinson (26) tackles Chicago punt returner Eddie Royal (19) during a game between the Bucs and Bears in 2016. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]