Palm Harbor toddler injured in mower accident prepares for weekend homecoming

The Palm Harbor toddler whose legs were severed in a lawn-mower accident last month is preparing to return home this weekend after almost three weeks of treatment at Tampa General Hospital, a family spokesman said Thursday.

Ireland Nugent, 2, has undergone multiple surgeries to clean her wounds and place skin grafts on her legs, both amputated at mid-calf when her father accidentally backed into her on a riding lawn mower April 11. She had suffered a setback last week, when doctors discovered dead tissue on one of her legs, requiring another skin graft.

On Thursday, however, parents Jerry and Nicole Nugent learned that the most recent procedure was successful, setting the stage for Ireland's return to her home in Palm Harbor, according to Dennis Reid, the family's pastor. If her recovery continues on track, she could be fitted for prosthetic legs in three to six weeks.

Tampa Bay area residents have rushed to offer the Nugents support in the accident's aftermath. Two funds for Ireland's medical care and associated expenses have been started, by Trinity Presbyterian Church in Clearwater and by Pinellas County, which employees Jerry Nugent.

Ireland has a half-dozen siblings, and Nicole Nugent said this week the girl is eager to return to home and family. "She's ready to go home," she said.

News researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Peter Jamison can be reached at pjamison@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4157.

Palm Harbor toddler injured in mower accident prepares for weekend homecoming 05/02/13 [Last modified: Thursday, May 2, 2013 7:27pm]

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