New parents Lee and Kassy Hovenga faced a parent’s worse nightmare approximately a month ago when they took their then 7-week-old daughter McKenna on her first outing.
Sure, the family had made quick trips to the grocery store, but this would be baby McKenna’s first real public outing. The plan was for mom Kassy to attend a softball game in which dad Lee was playing. Kassy was looking forward to holding her baby and cheering her husband on from the stands. The parents likely expected a barrage of “awww how sweet” and perhaps even a few requests to hold McKenna they would have to politely decline. That was likely the worst they expected to deal with, though. The reality of what took place was a real life nightmare.
While nestled safely in mom Kassy’s arms, McKenna was getting ready to breastfeed. Therefore, she was covered with a blanket. Dad Lee was also seated beside them as his game hadn’t yet started. Suddenly, a fly ball went careening into the stands. Shouts of “ball” were coming from every direction. Then, the unexpected happened.
The ball struck Kassy, bouncing forcefully off her arm. At first, the parents thought all was okay, but seconds later baby McKenna began crying. The couple instantly started examining their baby and noticed a substantial bruise forming on her head. The couple immediately rushed baby McKenna to the nearby Waverly Health Center. Doctors from there recognized the extent of her injuries, and had her moved to the Mayo Clinic where she was placed in intensive care.
Even an adult can be substantially injured when struck in the head by a softball or baseball, so it’s no surprise that McKenna, being so tiny was injured. However, the severity of the baby’s injuries was life-threatening, leading some doctor’s to question whether or not she would recover at all.
Initially, McKenna was suffering with frequent seizures. These were likely a result of her skull fracture and brain bleeds. Her significant injuries demanded she be monitored around the clock by doctors and nurses. Thankfully, baby McKenna began regaining conscientious but she still slept most hours of the day. In addition, she still suffered multiple seizures on a daily basis.
Although mom Kassy did not previously put much stock in prayer, she was desperate to find a solution for her daughter. The medical professionals had no answers, so she turned to God. To get the word out and get prayers going up for McKenna, the couple create a Facebook page entitled “Healing for McKenna.”
“Opening Facebook and getting a new notification of hope and prayer every half second is very heart warming,” Kassy said.
Not only that, the prayers of family, friends and even stranger lifting little McKenna up to God was working.
“After posting about McKenna, within 20 mins, we started getting nothing but good news! We are blessed by everyone and everything that everyone is doing for us,” Kassy added.
Thankfully, after a month-long stay in the hospital, now three-month-old McKenna has been recently released to go home. Doctors caution that McKenna might still face lingering effects from her accident. Her motor skills and vision might be affected long-term. However, overall, her health has been restored and her parents feel prayer is responsible.
The couple said it was thanks to the “legions of followers who were supporting McKenna” that they believe she recovered so completely. Mom Kassy issued a warning to all moms to not take even a day for granted that they have with their little ones as an accident can occur that takes them away instantaneously.
“Everybody give your babies an extra kiss and hug tonight, you NEVER know if your whole life will flip upside down in literally a blink of an eye,” Kassy advised.
Kassy and Lee promise to keep updating everyone on baby McKenna’s progress as she heals more and more. They are forever grateful for the all the prayers that went up in McKenna’s behalf and want to allow those who prayed for their baby to continue following her life.
~ 1776 Christian