The 7-week-old baby who was hit on the head by a softball earlier this month in Iowa is showing signs of recovery, according to a Facebook page devoted to her.
McKenna Hovenga was struck at her father’s game while in her mother’s arms on May 2 in the town of Shell Rock, which is about 95 miles northeast of Des Moines.
She was rushed to a local hospital and later transferred to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
She has had setbacks, and just recently a report said doctors believe she suffered “significant” damage in one area of the brain.
The Facebook post on Tuesday, however, showed glimmers of optimism.
“McKenna is doing fantabulous! Her chest x-ray is looking better and they aren’t getting as much mucous out when they suction,” a relative named Laura wrote on “Healing for McKenna” Facebook page, where the family has been posting updates about the baby’s status.
“Today when they rolled her to her side, she peeped at us more than she has been. It was so good to see those eyes!” Laura wrote. “You can definitely tell when she is in her awake period because she flutters her eyelashes, flares her nostrils and purses her lips!”
Doctors at the Rochester clinic have been treating her for skull fractures, brain bleeds and seizures.
The head of neurology at the hospital identified the two areas of the brain where the seizures are occurring, according to the Facebook page.
“The grim news is that they feel that the brain damage in one area is ‘a lot’ and the brain damage of the other area is ‘significant,’” a May 11 post read. “These areas affect a large portion of the brain, with a good portion having to do with motor skills and development.”
The family had set up a P.O Box for supporters to send letters, cards and baby gifts to McKenna. Laura said she was especially touched with the ones from children.
In a recent tally, more than $63,000 have been raised to help the family cover medical expenses.