A Florida 2-year-old lost both feet Wednesday night after her father accidentally backed over her with his riding lawn mower.
The girl’s mother, Nicole Nugent, said their next door neighbor saved her daughter’s life by applying pressure to the wounds with towels before help could arrive, according to WFTS, the ABC affiliate in Tampa.
“She saved my daughter’s life,” Nugent said of neighbor Aly Smith, a nurse, during a Thursday evening press conference.
Two-year-old Ireland Nugent was calling her father’s name as he mowed the lawn Wednesday night, but he didn’t see her, said Nugent, who watched as her husband mowed over her daughter’s legs.
The injury only took “15 seconds,” but it required doctors to amputate both Ireland’s feet just above her ankles, Nugent said.
Smith stayed with the family as it waited for a helicopter to transport Ireland to Tampa General Hospital, where she remained in intensive care unit Thursday night.
“It was one of the saddest, scariest things I’d ever seen,” Smith told WFTS. “She just kept saying she wanted to go to bed.”
Ireland has already undergone two surgeries to cleanse her wounds and repair a hand injury, the family’s pastor, Dennis Reid, said at the press conference. Ireland will have another operation Saturday and a final one to close the wounds on Monday, he said.
Steve Chamberland, who founded 50Legs.org to give prosthetic legs to 50 children, has already offered to provide Ireland with prosthetics, WFTS reported. He is also missing a leg and began helping amputees in 2011, according to his website.
“Of all the children in the word, it will not stop my daughter,” Nugent said at the press conference. “Once I saw her and saw that she had color and saw that she was still my daughter, it absolutely gave me a sense of relief.”