McKenna Hovenga, a 7-week-old baby girl from Iowa, has received the prayers and support of people throughout the United States and world after she was struck in the head by a softball at her father’s game and seriously injured.
The Shell Rock, Iowa infant was taken to the Mayo Clinic, where she is battling seizures and other medical problems as a result of the freak tragedy, which occurred on May 2, 2018. You can donate money to help with the child’s recovery here.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Family Posts Updates & Heartbreaking Photos on a Facebook Page for McKenna
The Facebook page devoted to McKenna’s healing process revealed, “On Wednesday, May 2, seven week old McKenna Hovenga was struck in the head by a softball during her Daddy’s softball game. McKenna was life flighted to St. Mary’s Hospital at Mayo Clinic for skull fractures and two brain bleeds. McKenna is currently on anti-seizure medications as doctors monitor her progress.”
The family has shared heartbreaking photos of the child and her injuries.
On May 3, 2018, the family wrote, “Quick update. McKenna has had 2 more seizures in the past half hour, they are starting her on a new med. one was really quick. The other lasted just over 5 mins……please keep the prayers coming!!!!” And more sad news: “She just had the longest seizure yet…….just over 9 mins… Currently on phenobarbital.”
The family also posted a video of the baby, writing, “Afternoon Update: At this time McKenna is critical, but stable. The MRI showed that the two blood clots have not gotten any larger. She is currently on anti-seizure meds preventing the multitude of seizures we were seeing this morning. Your prayers are being answered! We have not received any significant bad news since 7:30 am. She is breathing on her own, is able to suck her pacifier and cries when agitated. These are all great signs! Right now it is still day by day. The neurosurgeon just left and at this time they do not feel surgery is necessary, however they are monitoring her for any significant changes. Currently the main issue is keeping her blood pressure stabilized, as the seizure medication causes it to drop. Right now she is resting as well as can be expected. Please continue to pray for complete healing for McKenna. Your kind words and prayers mean more than you know. ❤️”
2. A YouCaring Site Has Raised Thousands of Dollars for the Family
There is a YouCaring site to help the Hovenga family. It’s raised more than $15,000.
“On Wednesday, May 2, seven week old McKenna Hovenga was struck in the head by a softball during her Daddy’s softball game. McKenna was life flighted to St. Mary’s Hospital at Mayo Clinic for skull fractures and two brain bleeds. McKenna is currently intubated and has a feeding tube and the doctors are currently working to stabilize her seizures due to traumatic brain injury,” the page reads.
People from all over the country have filled the Facebook page and YouCaring page with prayers. “Prayers for sweet baby McKenna! May God heal you, baby girl ❤️❤️❤️❤️ Stay strong!!!” wrote one woman. “Praying for God to completely restore this baby to perfect health, in Jesus name,” wrote another. The messages came from throughout the world and the country.
3. McKenna’s Condition was Stabilizing
Family posts on Facebook provided hope that the baby’s condition was showing signs of improvements. “Last update tonight… McKenna is stable and nothing really has changed,” the page read on May 5.
“We are starting to see more fluid positivity and unfortunately the diuretic they gave her didn’t have much effect, but they aren’t concerned at this time. Her heart rate did go up a little, but nothing like what we were seeing with the seizures before – and then she settled down. At this point it’s just waiting, watching and praying that we make it until 7:30 am tomorrow – and then a whole new set of challenges begins as they dial back on the Pentobarb and we see if she can remain seizure free.”
The family also wrote, “Realistic scenario is that McKenna will remain in the PICU until Friday at least, before transferring to a regular room. This is if everything continues to go exactly perfect – and certainly not anything they are even talking about at this point. I kinda put the nurse on the spot with my questioning when we arrived. It is very hard to wait and watch and not know the future and that’s exactly what we’re doing right now. I’m not known as the most patient person anyway.”
4. The Injury Came From an ‘Overthrown’ Softball
KWWL-TV reported that the baby was injured “after an overthrown softball hit her on the head.”
According to the television station, “Kassy Hovenga and her daughter McKenna were sitting on the bleachers watching the game when suddenly a ball flew over the fence and hit her and her baby.”
Kassy’s husband, Lee, plays on the Waverly men’s softball league. “The guy was in the outfield and he was just simply throwing to the third baseman to try and get an out and it went right over the gate and hit us,” Kassy told the television station.
5. McKenna Was Already Her Parents’ ‘Miracle’ Baby
Kassy Hovenga told KWWL that McKenna was already a “miracle” baby. That’s because the couple underwent fertility treatments before having her.
“We had to do three rounds of fertility treatments to get this little miracle, she is definitely our miracle baby,” she told the television station.