Newborn hit with softball during game suffers broken skull

Newborn hit with softball during game suffers broken skull
Posted at 11:47 AM, May 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-08 09:19:14-04

SHELL ROCK, IA (RNN) - A 7-week-old baby is recovering after a freak accident at a softball game left her with a broken skull and brain injuries.

McKenna Hovenga was struck in the head by a ball Wednesday at a game where her father was later scheduled to play, according to a Facebook page, Healing for McKenna.

Laura Heise, identified by the Waverly Courier as a family member, said the baby, mom and father were in the stands on the third base line behind a fence when the ball was hit, according to the YouCaring page raising funds for the baby's medical care.

Lee Hovenga, the father, was helping to get Kassy Hovenga, the mother, situated with a blanket so that the baby could discreetly breastfeed.

"The ball came over the fence - and either hit McKenna first or hit Kassy first. We're really not sure as it happened so fast and Kassy was looking down at McKenna as she was feeding," Heise said.

The newborn was flown to St. Mary's Hospital at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. She is in the pediatric intensive care unit, recovering from skull fractures, seizures and brain bleeds.

The baby has suffered seizures, so doctors put McKenna on anti-seizure medicine. As of the latest Facebook update, the baby was seizure free and was being weaned off one of the four seizure medications. 

Although the CT scan suggests  possible brain damage, doctors won't know the extent of McKenna's injuries until she wakes up, according to the YouCaring page.

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