2-year-old takes inspiring first steps after tragic lawnmower accident

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PALM HARBOR, Fla. (CNN/Bay News 9) — Ireland Nugent, the Palm Harbor 2-year-old who lost her feet in a lawn mower accident, received her prosthetic feet Monday in Orlando.

According to Bay News9, this is the first time the toddler has walked since her father accidently backed over her with the mower in the family’s yard in April.

“I was speechless,” said Jerry Nugent, Ireland’s father. “I was just so amazed at how eager she was to do it and I was so happy that she was doing it, you know that there wasn’t any hesitation.”

“I didn’t think she would take off as quickly as she has,” said Ireland’s mother, Nicole Nugent. “I really thought she would be nervous and not wanting to do it.”

Doctors at Prosthetic and Orthotic Associates fitted her with the prosthetics last week. Experts there say it’s rare to see a child take off so quickly like this.

“It’s amazing, it’s as normal as we’re going to get,” Nicole said, “and it’s just so nice, I mean, it opens up so many more doors for her, you know rather than crawling around.”

Sensors inside the artificial limbs will alert the medical staff if the prosthetics are causing any pain or damage to Ireland.

“This is where I was talking about coming from a tragedy to triumph and I feel like she took it over the top and that’s our daughter,” Jerry said.

“She’s just ready to face the world,” Nicole said.

Since the incident in April, Ireland has undergone several surgeries and many therapy sessions. Doctors have said the little girl has made a remarkable recovery.

The group 50 Legs helped to get the toddler these new prosthetic legs.

The family and its church, Presbyterian Church in Clearwater, coordinated several fundraisers since the accident and collected nearly $120,000 in donations.

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