A infant from Iowa is making slow but steady progress in her recovery after being hit in the head by a softball.
As Lee Hovenga readied to play in a recreational game of softball on May 2, his wife Kassy Hovenga took a seat in the stands behind third base with their 7-week-old daughter, McKenna, according to a Facebook page set up by relatives and friends of the family.
Aside from check-ups and running errands, the game marked McKenna’s very first outing, a post in the group, Healing For McKenna, detailed.
When another pair of teams took the field, Lee took a break and helped Kassy cover herself with a blanket to breastfeed McKenna. But, with their attention diverted away from the field, the couple didn’t notice when a softball was launched over the fence in their direction.
While the softball hit Kassy in the bicep, the couple wasn’t aware that McKenna was impacted, too — until she started screaming a few seconds later and a large lump formed on her head.
According to the Facebook group, the infant was immediately taken to nearby Waverly Health Center in Waverly, Iowa, and was then flown to St. Mary’s Hospital at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Once in Minnesota, doctors placed McKenna on anti-seizure medications as they treated her for skull fractures and two brain bleeds.
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In the hours and days after she was hit, baby McKenna suffered multiple seizures, some lasting almost 10 to 15 minutes long, with many of them coming back-to-back in clusters. McKenna was soon put in a “deep coma” and placed on a ventilator, according to Healing For McKenna.
On May 4, medical personnel performed a CT scan on McKenna and found one of the bleeds in her brain had grown larger. They soon ordered a blood transfusion, an update in the Facebook group said.
Another CT scan over the weekend showed McKenna was stable, but, according to Facebook, doctors remain unsure about any brain damage she could have suffered. The family won’t know the degree of it — or if she even has any damage — until she is further into her recovery. As of Sunday, a post on Healing For McKenna announced she had been seizure free for more than two days.
Lee and Kassy declined to comment when reached by PEOPLE, saying in a statement that they “want to focus our strength and time to the care and comfort of McKenna.”
The family has recently set up a YouCaring donation page to help with McKenna’s medical care. Supporters on the page have already raised some $35,000 of their $50,000 goal as of Tuesday, which the family said will only go toward McKenna’s present and future medical expenses.
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The donations — no matter how small — may help the couple during one of their most difficult times.
“Lee and Kassy went through three rounds of in vitro to have McKenna on top of other infertility treatments,” Laura, a relative of the couple, told PEOPLE. “This has been especially crushing to them.”
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