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Baby hospitalized for skull fractures after being hit at softball game

Seven-week-old McKenna Hovenga was struck in the head by an overthrown softball while attending her father's softball game.
Credit: Special to The Des Moines Register
McKenna Hovenga

An Iowa infant has received national attention as she battles for her life following a serious head injury she sustained at her dad's softball game last week.

Seven-week-old McKenna Hovenga was struck in the head by an overthrown softball on May 2 while attending her father's game and was airlifted to St. Mary's Hospital at Mayo Clinic for skull fractures and two brain bleeds.

While McKenna has remained in the hospital for the past week, a Facebook page created to update friends and family has gained hundreds of thousands of followers, all sending thoughts and prayers to the Iowa infant.

McKenna's mother, Kassy Hovenga, was breastfeeding McKenna in the stands behind third base when a ball came over the fence, striking both the mother and daughter. Kassy Hovenga, who had a large lump on her bicep where the ball hit, did not realize her daughter had been hit until she started crying seconds later.

While in the hospital, McKenna had several seizures a day, some lasting an hour. The seizures were caused by pressure of the blood clots and the swelling of her brain, which continually changes.

The family reported that the bleeding in McKenna's skull was gone Wednesday, though she had two more seizures after several days of being seizure-free.

The softball game was McKenna's first outing, excluding trips to the grocery store, to see family or to doctor's appointments, according to the Facebook page.

Each post on the page receives hundreds of comments from around the country, some from parents who have gone through similar situations whose children are now several years older.

"We appreciate all of you and your prayers more than you can ever fathom," family member Laura Heise wrote. "Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts! Kassy and Lee need to know they are not alone in all of this. May God bless you all for your generosity and kindness."

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