WEST LEBANON, Ind. (WLFI) - Despite the rainy weather, about 50 people showed up for a softball tournament to raise donations for a special young girl.
She has a smile that can bring joy to anyone, but Megan Howard says her 15-month-old daughter Allie has been fighting since the day she was born.
"She was two days old and I had to watch her be life-lined to Riley; and they did some tests on her and found out she was having seizures from a blood clot in her head," said Howard.
Allie stayed in the hospital for a month recovering from a stroke.
"I didn't have any of that bonding time that mothers usually get with their children,so I had to watch the nurses take care of my baby for the first month of her life and that was really hard," said Howard.
Just before leaving, doctors discovered another problem, this time in her heart.
"It was a congenital heart defect called double outlet right ventricle," Howard said. "She also had two holes in her heart that she would have to have repaired."
The American Heart Association estimates nearly 1 in every 100 infants are born with a congenital heart defect. Allie had three and would need surgery to close the two holes in her heart. She would also have a permanent pacemaker placed in her heart and would later have a feeding tube inserted to her stomach.
Not long after Allie went under the knife, some West Lebanon residents decided to host a coed softball tournament for Allie.
"We grew up around here and we know everybody from this area, and Edie Foust contacted us if we would be willing to bring Allie and do a tournament benefit for her. Of course, we were thrilled to do that," said Howard.
"I had tossed the idea around to for awhile and talked to different players that played here, and they were all for it. Everybody was all for it," said Edie Foust, who help organized the tournament.
Foust and other volunteers have been working since February to put together an 11-team field. They also put together a raffle, a silent auction and other various activities to raise donations for Allie and her family.
"It's just been awesome. When you look around and see there are so many people here that just want to give to Allie, it's awesome," said Foust
From Friday until Sunday afternoon, they played from sun up until sun down. When rain turned the diamond into a mud pit, they played anyway. All for the little girl who never stops smiling.
"She is the most wonderful child. She's happy, she's perfect to me, and she'll always be perfect to us," said Megan.
Foust and the volunteers were able to raise nearly $5,000 for the Howard family, which will go a long way in helping pay for Allie's medical bills.