Six weeks since being hit by softball, baby McKenna returns home from hospital

The Iowa tot was severely injured last month, and had been treated at the Mayo Clinic.
Publish date:

After more than 6 weeks at the Mayo Clinic, McKenna Hovenga finally returned home on Monday.

The tot from Waverly, Iowa, has spent half her life at the Rochester hospital, after being struck by a softball in a freak accident at just 7 weeks old.

On Tuesday, Laura Heise – the aunt of McKenna's mom Kassy – provided an update on their return home, describing it as "kind of anti-climactic" but at the same time "as surreal as that very first drive there."

"We simply loaded up all her things into my truck, walked out of the hospital and drove away," she wrote, though added that McKenna soon needed feeding on the road home – and the first place they could stop was an "ahem, adult establishment."

Tens of thousands have been following the baby's journey since suffering her injury last month. She sustained a fractured skull and brain bleeding after being hit by an overthrown ball, and suffered from regular seizures while in the hospital.

She's thankfully been able to recover enough to go home, though still has a g-tube fitted to ensure she gets the nutrition she needs.

Today's Top Stories

– Here's the guy charged with torching a St. Paul cop car.

– After being forced to move, Market Bar-B-Que has found a new home.

– Want the latest stories? Sign up for our daily newsletters.

The outpouring of love and support for the tot has been overwhelming. The Facebook page "Healing for McKenna" has more than 220,000 followers, while her plight was shared across the country by local and national media.

The Hovenga family paid tribute to the staff at the Mayo Clinic's pediatric units, saying: "You truly are in the very best hands in our nation," as well as those at the Ronald McDonald House where the family stayed during McKenna's time in hospital. 

Next Up