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2-year-old who lost feet to dad's lawn mower will walk again, mom says

The parents of a 2-year-old Florida girl whose feet were severed when her father backed over her with a lawn mower said she will walk again.

Ireland Nugent was in serious condition in the intensive-care unit a day after the tragic accident in her family’s yard. She underwent two surgeries and will have two more.

Doctors at Tampa General Hospital told her parents they will be stunned at how quickly she will bounce back from the horrific injuries.

“She will continue to succeed. She will do great things in her life,” her mother, Nicole, told reporters as her husband, Jeremiah, stood silent behind her.

“This will not stop Ireland.”

The pre-schooler ran into her Palm Harbor yard on Wednesday evening while her father was cutting the grass on his red riding mower.

Her mother yelled at her to stop and waved at her husband to alert him. But he thought she was warning him about something in front of the mower and put it in reverse.

Ireland was behind him, out of sight, and the mower ran over her, the blades slicing through her legs below the knee.

“Never in my life did I think this would happen to my child,” Nicole Nugent said, adding that she is very safety-conscious and had child-proofed her house.

The mom said the nightmare unfolded in just 15 seconds. A neighbor who is a nurse applied pressure to the child’s wounds, saving her life, the mom said.

Other neighbors set up a fund for the family, and a group called pledged to provide Ireland with prosthetics for the rest of her life.

“It lifted a weight off our shoulders,” she said.

Nicole Nugent said she was trying to stay strong for her daughter, who was under sedation. “She clearly does not know what's happening right now,” she said.

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The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons said a quarter of a million people are treated for lawn mower injuries a year; less than 10 percent of them are children.

"The energy transferred by a typical lawn mower blade is equivalent to being shot in the hand with a .357 Magnum pistol," the society said on its website.