Baby girl who was hit on head at softball game breathing on her own

SHELL ROCK, Iowa — A 2-month-old baby who was hospitalized after being hit in the head by a softball during a game is breathing on her own for the first time.

McKenna Hovenga was hit while her dad was playing a softball game in Shell Rock, Iowa earlier this month. Her great-aunt has been keeping supporters updated on Facebook.

“We were very worried that her troubles were related to her brain injury and we are so very thankful that this is not the case!” Laura Heise posted on Friday.

“Today we’re crying tears of relief, joy and thankfulness,” she wrote.

Doctors removed McKenna’s breathing tube on Thursday after she had fared well during several breathing tests.

“This morning, they performed a more detailed exploratory procedure to determine the issue with her airway laparoscopically,” Heise posted, in part. “Upon further examination, it was determined that McKenna has what’s called ‘intubation laryngitis’ in which granular tissue can build up and narrow the airway. This is completely normal and is usually from the trauma of intubation and can be caused from the rubbing of the vent tube during extended intubation.”

On Monday, McKenna made more progress as she has started moving her eyes and head around the room.

McKenna has been hospitalized at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota since the May 2 incident. She suffered skull fractures and two brain bleeds.

YouCaring page was set up to help the family cover medical expenses and has raised more than $74,000.

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