Lawnmower Accident – Child Loses Feet

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A toddler whose feet were amputated after her father accidentally backed over her with a riding lawnmower took her first steps on her new prosthetic test legs Monday. Ireland Nugent has been in a wheelchair and has undergone seven surgeries since the April 11 accident.

Doctors warned she may be hesitant at first after being fitted for the test legs, but the little girl promptly took off walking as soon as they were on. She fell once, but immediately got back up. The 2-year-old’s father was driving a riding mower up the driveway of their Palm Harbor home when Ireland ran out from a backyard enclosure and got behind him. Her mother motioned for him to stop, but he misinterpreted her signals and backed the mower up, running over the toddler. The toddler’s steps on her new legs were taken in front of a crowd of supporters, including neighbor Aly Smith, who is credited with helping to save her life by applying pressure to the wounds.

Lawnmower accidents are very common. During the summer season be respectful of these powerful machines. Every year hundred of patients are seen in emergency rooms across the country with foot, hand and and eye injuries.

Injury Profile

  • Adults 25-64 years
  • Children under age five
  • 22% involve wrist, hand or finger
  • 14% involve foot, ankle or toes
  • 25% of all hand and foot injuries result in amputation
  • Deaths occurred in children under six years of age

Common Injury Patterns

  • Direct contact with rotating or jammed blade
  • Serious avulsion (tearing/separating) injuries to soft tissue and bones
  • Gross contamination from contact with grass and soil harboring pathogens
  • Injuries requiring multiple staged surgeries to cleanse wounds and provide soft tissue coverage (to
  • regenerate healthy tissue/skin)
  • Lawnmowers are safe if used properly.
  • Remember the following:
  • Read your mower’s instruction manual prior to use.
  • DO NOT REMOVE safety devices or guards on switches.
  • NEVER insert hands or feet into the mower to remove grass or debris. Even with the motor turned off, the
  • blade remains engaged.
  • ALWAYS use a stick or broom handle to remove any obstruction.
  • NEVER cut grass when it is wet or when the ground is damp.
  • NEVER allow a child to operate the mower at any time or be in the area to be mowed.
  • NEVER allow passengers, other than the operator, on riding mowers.
  • Keep your mower in good working order with sharp blades.
  • DO NOT DRINK before or while using your lawnmower.
  • Wear protective boots, goggles, gloves and long pants.
  • Do not operate the lawnmower while barefoot.
  • Be cautious when mowing hills or slopes.


Dr. Brady is on staff at Saint Barnabas medical center in Livingston NJ, Morristown Memorial, Morristown, NJ and Saint Michael’s Medical Center Newark , NJ. Dr Brady often takes emergency room call schedule at Saint Barnabas, and cares for patients in the Saint Barnabas Wound Care Center.

If you have a Lawnmower accident go to the Emergency room. This is a dirty wound. You will need a tetanus shot. The injury must be surgically cleaned.