Baby critically hurt by overthrown pitch at softball game recovering at home with family


SHELL ROCK, Iowa – McKenna Hovenga, the Iowa infant critically injured by an overthrown pitch at a softball game in early May, is finally at home in her mother's arms.

The impact of the softball caused a skull fracture and brain bleed. McKenna spent six weeks in the Mayo Clinic children's hospital. Her parents were unable to even hold their daughter.

"We couldn't make noise in the room. We couldn't touch her," described McKenna's dad, Lee Hovenga.

As parents, all they could do was watch and wait, as seizures caused by the brain bleed became more and more frequent, lasting longer and longer. At one point, McKenna's seizures were lasting over an hour.

"She could have a chance to stop breathing. That is not something you want to hear," recalled McKenna's mom, Kassy.

The doctors told Kassy and Lee they needed to put McKenna in a coma and use a ventilator to help her breathe. The seizures finally stopped, but that only led to another terrifying moment when doctors went to take the ventilator out.

"I looked up at her stats and her oxygen was 2. Her heart rate was dropping. She got close to having to be resuscitated because her heart was about to stop," said Lee.

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