St. Petersburg, Florida -- Three-year-old Ireland Nugent is growing fast and so are her legs.
Her mother, Nicole Nugent, is learning to allow Ireland to help take care of her "stumps," as she calls them.
The family is overwhelmed with all the surgeries and doctors' visits in the last year since her horrible accident. On April 10, 2013, Ireland's father, Jerry Nugent, accidentally ran over her legs with his lawn mower.
Ireland lost the bottom portions of both her legs. She had ten surgeries last year and, on June 4, she will have another one. This surgery will shave the bones down in both her legs because they are about to grow out of her skin.
"They are going to make a new incision and shave down both bones on both legs," explained Nicole Nugent. "They are both over growing."
That surgery has been pushed back, and now Nicole said it's time. Ireland has been unable to wear her prosthetic legs because they hurt too much when she puts them on. Once the bones are shaved, she will be able to comfortably wear them again and start physical therapy again.
Doctors had originally thought she would also need some plastic surgery on her skin to help the skin grow better with the bone.
"If we freed up her scars, then her skin will grow better, in order to grow with the bone instead, if the bone outgrowing the skin so quickly," described Nugent. "Our doctors in Cincinnati, who would do the plastic surgery, all looked at her at Shriners with us on Monday and said her scars were not too bad and she does not need plastic surgery just yet. Instead, this time they want to put her almost in a garment, like a burn patient would wear. It should flatten down the collagen in her legs and smooth everything out."
Right now, they apply a heavy cream twice a day to Ireland's legs. However, when she wears the garment after her June 4surgery, they will have to apply the cream three to four times a day.
Every time Nugent goes into a new doctor's appointment, she has another surgery. She keeps hoping this will be the last one.
"I am just so ready for her to be a normal kid," said Nugent. "I just keep thinking, 'Well, after this life is going to be normal.' I am kind of starting to see that I don't know what normal will be for us. This might be our new normal and I am going to have to accept it."
She is learning to accept it every day, and learning to accept that Ireland is taking charge and wants to take care of her own legs. Nugent allowed her to do that by giving her the cream to rub into her scars.
The Nugents have been raising money for children who need new legs.
If you want to donate to their cause, click on this link: http://www.gofundme.com/irelandnugent