Sometimes the world can seem like a chaotic place. No matter your best laid plans, you may happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and — bam! — everything falls to pieces.
That must’ve been how Iowa mother Kassy Hovenga felt after taking her 7-week-old daughter McKenna to a May 2 softball game. The mother and little girl had come to watch Kassy’s husband, Lee, play.
“Another pair of teams were playing, and Lee was helping Kassy get situated with a blanket over her so Kassy could breastfeed,” family member Laura Heise wrote on Facebook. At that moment, a hard hit on the field caused the unthinkable.
“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.”
That softball fractured tiny McKenna’s skull and caused her to have seizures. After she was admitted to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, doctors would discover that the 7-week-old also had two brain bleeds.
Physicians struggled to get the seizures under control and eventually placed the baby on a ventilator and into a medically induced coma. For an infant that young, it seemed like a death sentence.
But something strange started to happen with little McKenna. First, a Facebook page called Healing for McKenna swelled to over 100,000 followers.
Next, her seizures finally stopped. Doctors were also able to bring her out of the coma and begin weaning her off of the ventilator.
Then the miraculous seemed to occur: McKenna appeared to become aware of her surroundings and her parents’ presence.
“She definitely has more awake periods, and her eyes are wide open,” Heise said. “She tracks Kassy’s face and voice.”
Though the Hovengas are encouraged by McKenna’s improvement, they know she isn’t out of the proverbial woods yet. Still, they remain thankful for the prayers and financial support they’ve received.
“We hear about these accidents on the news every day throughout the Cedar Valley, never thinking of how many people other than myself are praying for the victims of these tragic accidents,” Lee Hovenga stated on Facebook.
“It’s heartwarming knowing there are so many selfless people in this world that hope and pray for others.”