A little girl who lost both of her feet in a lawn mower accident last month received another happy homecoming Sunday during her first time back to church in Clearwater.
Pastor Dennis Reid spent roughly the first 15 minutes of the service welcoming Ireland Nugent and her family back to Trinity Presbyterian Church, then the congregation gave them a standing ovation.
"To see them back is just fantastic," Reid said after the service.
Ireland, 2, had her feet cut off four weeks ago when her father accidentally backed over them on the family's riding lawn mower. She spent the weeks that followed recovering in the hospital before being released last weekend.
Reid said it's fitting the Nugents' return to his church coincides with Mother's Day.
"To have [Ireland] back on Mother's Day is just a testament to how strong [her mother] Nicole has been."
Nicole Nugent has been credited with being the family's rock while Ireland recovered in the hospital. She said she's been through many Mother's Days, but never celebrated one that meant quite as much as this year's holiday.
"It makes you just appreciate all your kids and hug them a little bit tighter and just that she's here, it just brings such joy that we're all still together," Nicole Nugent said. "She still is Ireland and still is that happy little girl, just not running yet, but will be."
Ireland is scheduled to receive her first set of prosthetic feet in the next two to three weeks.
Next weekend she'll meet "Winter," the dolphin who gained fame because of her prosthetic tail and the 2011 movie about it titled "Dolphin Tale."
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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