Newborn suffers skull fractures after freak accident at ballfield

An Iowa family is praying for a 7-week-old infant who was critically injured when a softball accidentally struck her in the head at a ballfield.

McKenna Hovenga suffered skull fractures, two brain bleeds and several seizures, family member Laura Heise said on a page for the baby, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported Saturday.

“Currently McKenna is still heavily sedated and is still on the vent,” Heise wrote on the page Sunday. “We’ve had a few issues here and there that have popped up, so the doctors are continually tweaking her meds. Thankfully we have had no seizure activity since yesterday morning and she is stable, but critical.”

On a public Facebook page, Healing for McKenna, Heise wrote Sunday that the family blames no one for what happened to the infant.

“Accidents happen and this is just one horrible happenstance,” she said.

McKenna was at the ballfield in Shell Rock with her parents Lee and Kassy Hovenga. Lee and his team were playing that night.

“Another pair of teams were playing and Lee was helping Kassy get situated with a blanket over her, so Kassy could breastfeed,” Heise wrote. “Lee had his back to the field and never saw the ball coming. 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. Neither of them saw the ball as it came over the fence.”

The baby was transported to Waverly Health Center and taken by helicopter to St. Mary’s Hospital at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., the Courier reported.

The page for McKenna has raised more than $12,000 of its $15,000 goal, according to the paper.

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