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Baby severely injured in softball accident breathing on her own

A two-month-old who suffered a serious brain injury when she was hit by a softball, is awake and breathing on her own for the first time.

McKenna Hovenga was in her mother Kassy’s arms when she struck by an overthrown softball at her father’s game in Shell Rock, about 95 miles northeast of Des Moines, on May 2.

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The infant was airlifted to St Mary’s Hospital at Mayo Clinic where doctors found the ball had fractured the tiny baby’s skull, causing two serious brain bleeds and frequent seizures. 

McKenna Hovenga, who suffered a serious brain injury when she was hit by a softball, is breathing on her own for the first time

McKenna was in her mother Kassy's arms when she struck by an overthrown softball at her father's game

McKenna was in her mother Kassy’s arms when she struck by an overthrown softball at her father’s game

It’s been a tense couple of weeks for her parents Kassy and Lee who have been desperately waiting for their daughter’s condition to take a turn for the better. On Thursday, the family faced a rollercoaster of emotions after doctors removed McKenna’s breathing tube. 

The little girl’s oxygen levels dropped, pushing doctors to administer steroids and a scope was performed to ensure she was breathing properly and there were no blockages.

And today, McKenna’s great aunt Laura Heise, who has been running the Healing for McKenna Facebook page, confirmed that the baby girl was finally breathing on her own.

It's been a tense couple of weeks for her parents Kassy (pictured with her daughter in hospital) and Lee who have been desperately waiting for their daughter's condition to take a turn for the better

It’s been a tense couple of weeks for her parents Kassy (pictured with her daughter in hospital) and Lee who have been desperately waiting for their daughter’s condition to take a turn for the better

A post on the Healing for McKenna Facebook page said doctors have pinpointed her seizures to two areas of the brain that appear to have been damaged

Kassy is pictured holding her daughter

A post on the Healing for McKenna Facebook page said doctors have pinpointed her seizures to two areas of the brain that appear to have been damaged (left, before the accident, and right in hospital after)

‘McKenna is off EVERYTHING breathing related!’ she wrote. ‘McKenna is off nasal cannula!!! She’s off the Heliox!!! She’s off the CPAP!!! She’s off it ALL and breathing and resting comfortable for the first time since they took her off the vent!!!!’

She added that the family were extremely relieved to learn that McKenna’s breathing issues had not been related to the accident.

‘We were very worried that her troubles were related to her brain injury and we are so very thankful that this is not the case!’ Heise added.  

Heise said that the family shed ‘many tears’ yesterday, ‘watching what she was enduring and now knowing more about what’s ahead.’ 

‘Today we’re crying tears of relief, joy and thankfulness! We know that this roller coaster ride of emotions is how it’s going to be for quite some time, but it sure is better to cry happy tears than it is to cry the sad ones. We feel like we’re breathing easier too! Way to go, Kenna-baby!!!!’

The ball appears to have hit the front part of McKenna's skull resulting in a serious brain trauma

The ball appears to have hit the front part of McKenna’s skull resulting in a serious brain trauma

Eight-week-old McKenna (pictured) may have suffered brain damage after she was struck by a softball on May 2

Eight-week-old McKenna (pictured) may have suffered brain damage after she was struck by a softball on May 2

A YouCaring page has already raised more than $70,000 to help pay for McKenna’s medical bills.

The youngster has been at Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota, ever since the freak accident on May 2, where physicians have been balancing various medications to treat McKenna, whose skull was fractured.

A post on the Healing for McKenna Facebook page said doctors have pinpointed her seizures to two areas of the brain that appear to have been damaged. Those areas are ones that are related to motor skills and development.

The doctors are currently working to stabilize her seizures. The extent of any damage remains unclear. 

But her mother Kassy got an unexpected Mother’s Day gift when she was allowed to hold her daughter for the first time since her accident on May 13. 

The young parents say they view McKenna as their miracle child because they had struggled to conceive for three years before the baby girl came along. 

A post on the Healing for McKenna Facebook page said doctors have pinpointed her seizures to two areas of the brain that appear to have been damaged (pictured before the accident) 

A post on the Healing for McKenna Facebook page said doctors have pinpointed her seizures to two areas of the brain that appear to have been damaged (pictured before the accident) 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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