ILA, Ga. - Two-year-old Victoria Hinesley faces a long road ahead, but the toddler doesn't know how many people back home in Madison County are pulling for her.
Victoria lost her left leg below the knee and her right foot July 18, when her father, Billy Hinesley, accidentally ran over the child with a riding lawn mower.
In the intensive care unit at Egleston Children's Hospital in Atlanta, Victoria faces months of healing, fitting for prosthetic limbs and physical therapy to learn to walk again.
In the meantime, churches and individuals are starting to donate to a fund to help the family through the next six months.
Patsy and Billy Hinesley are in Atlanta with their oldest daughter, while grandmother Barbara White cares for Victoria's younger brothers, Billy, 17 months, and Joshua, who turned 1 month old on Thursday.
"Her wounds are starting to heal," Mrs. White said.
Doctors performed a skin graft Wednesday, and the family hopes the procedure will be the last surgery for Victoria.
The accident left her father wounded in a different way, Mrs. White said.
"Billy, he's in his own little world, but he'll make it," she said. "It's hard, but they are a really, really strong couple."
Injuries such as Victoria's aren't uncommon.
Each year, 9,400 children are injured in lawn mower accidents, and 7 percent of those injuries involve amputations or torn nerves, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. One-fifth of childhood amputations are caused by lawn mowers.
Children's Healthcare System of Atlanta, which includes Egleston and Scottish Rite, is treating three children who lost limbs in lawn mower accidents, according to Colleen Coulter-O'Berry, who has worked in the system's amputee program for 25 years.
As the team leader of the limb deficiency program, Ms. Coulter-O'Berry has seen the damage a mower can do.
"The problem is, she is not alone," Ms. Coulter-O'Berry said. "We have several kids like her.
"Lawn mower injuries are quite common. It could be a toe or foot, and it happens mostly in the spring and summer," she said.
A mower blade leaves a dirty, jagged wound, meaning the child first has to fight off infection before doctors begin the next step of rehabilitation.
"They never are just a clean injury," she said. "Before you can even think prosthetics, you have to take care of the wounds."
Therapists are working on Victoria's strength, and her tender age could mean she will handle the long months of rehabilitation better than an older child would.
A teenager or adult would struggle with loss, Ms. Coulter-O'Berry said, and Victoria's muscles will relearn walking better than they would if she'd walked without prosthetics for years.
Plus, a child's drive to play will overcome, the veteran therapist said.
"Kids want to play. They want to get up and run. They know it hurts, but on the other hand they want to play," she said.
"It's not that they don't get depressed," she added. At each change in life - starting elementary school, moving to middle school - curious kids will ask Victoria what happened, and she'll have to explain.
But Mrs. White - "Nanny" to Victoria - is hopeful.
"Time heals all wounds," she said, "especially with God."
Donors can give to a fund for Victoria through any Merchants and Farmers Bank.
Reach Allison Floyd at email@example.com.