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Tampa, Florida- It's been just over 24 hours, and Thursday night, the mother of two-year-old Ireland Nugent is describing her daughter's devastating injury for the very first time.

"She wanted her daddy," Nicole Nugent told a group of reporters gathered outside Tampa General Hospital.

Wednesday evening, Ireland's father didn't hear his wife's screams, and his riding mower backed over his daughter as she ran up from behind.

See also: Mom: Toddler doing well, sedated after lawnmower accident

"I am questioning why that wasn't me," Ireland's mother said in tears. "Why that had to be her?"

Tonight, Ireland is recovering in serious condition, doctors amputated both feet slightly above the ankle.

"She's made some attempts at opening eyes, holding hands- when I put her hand in my hand, she's definitely squeezing my hand, and can realize that I am there."

The Nugent family is crediting their next-door neighbor, a registered nurse.

"She came over and took the towels and put pressure on the legs," said Nugent. "She saved my daughter's life."

See also: Experts say prevention is key in lawnmower safety

The family is also thankful for the doctors from Tampa General Hospital and the outpouring of love from their community and church.

Among those offering to help is Steve Chamberlin who lost his leg in a motorcycle crash in 1999. His charity "50 Legs" is offering to provide Ireland the best in prosthetic legs whenever she's ready.

"I told them today, all you need to focus on is your daughter's recovery," said Chamberlin. "We'll take care of the legs."

Despite the heartbreaking loss of this little girl's legs no one doubts her future remains bright.

"This is not going to stop Ireland," said Nugent. "Of all the children in the world, it will not stop my daughter," said Nicole.

The Nugent family's church is taking donations to help with Ireland's medical bills and long-term treatment.

Checks can be made out to Trinity Presbyterian Foundation, with "Ireland Nugent" in the memo field, and mailed to:

Trinity Presbterian Church
2001 Rainbow Drive
Clearwater, Florida 33765

The church has also set up a Paypal fund, which can be accessed on their website,www.trinityclearwater.org

Follow 10 News Reporter Beau Zimmer on twitter @Zimm10

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