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Olympian Mary Lou Retton Recovering at Home After 'Fighting for Her Life' With Rare Pneumonia Battle

mary lou retton family raises k after revealing pneumonia battle
Source: @marylouretton/Instagram

Donations poured in after her health scare in October.

Oct. 23 2023, Published 2:43 p.m. ET

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Former Olympic gold medalist Mary Lou Retton is recovering at home after fighting for her life, has learned. The 55-year-old, nicknamed "America’s sweetheart" after her performance at the 1984 Summer Games, was hospitalized earlier this month with a rare form of pneumonia.

After suffering a "scary setback" in the intensive care unit, Mary Lou is in "recovery mode" but still has a long road ahead.

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mary lou retton family raises k after revealing pneumonia battle
Source: @marylouretton/Instagram

During a recent interview, the family did not disclose exactly how the money was spent.

Her gymnast daughter, McKenna Kelley, shared Mary Lou's health update on Monday.

"Mom is HOME & in recovery mode. We still have a long road of recovery ahead of us, but baby steps," she told her followers. "We are overwhelmed with the love and support from everyone. Grateful doesn't scrape the surface of the posture of our hearts."

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She ended her update by thanking those who helped her mother during those difficult weeks in the hospital.

"Thank you Jesus, thank you doctors & nurses, thank you to this loving community of support," McKenna shared.

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The news is amazing, considering McKenna's sister, Shayla Kelley Schrepfer, revealed their mother suffered a "scary setback" just four days ago.

"Basically at the beginning of this week, we were going on the up and up," Schrepfer said in the Instagram post last Tuesday. "We were so excited seeing so much progress. And then yesterday, we had a pretty scary setback."

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"She is still in ICU. And we're just working through some things as far as her setback goes. So I just wanted to give an update there," Schrepfer said. "She had a better day today, which is great. She is just really, really exhausted," she shared.

The setback occurred only days after McKenna revealed "uplifting news" about Mary Lou's condition.

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mary lou retton family raises k after revealing pneumonia battle
Source: 383SK/WENN/Newscom/The Mega Agency

The gymnast has been trying to overcome a rare form of pneumonia.

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Mom's progress is truly remarkable. Prayers have been felt and are being answered," she wrote.

"Although she remains in the ICU, her path to recovery is steadily progressing. Her fighting spirit is truly shining! Her breathing is becoming stronger, and her reliance on machines is diminishing," McKenna continued. "Though it's a lengthy journey, witnessing these improvements is incredibly heartening! She's beginning to respond to treatments."

"Once more, we extend our heartfelt gratitude for your overwhelming love and support."

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mary lou retton family raises k olympic gymnast fights life icu

Retton is currently in the ICU with a rare form of pneumonia and cannot breathe on her own.

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Mary Lou is considered an American sporting icon after famously earning five medals at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

The gymnast was also the first U.S. woman to take home the all-around gold medal in an Olympic Games and was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

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As reported, Mary Lou's family started a donation page, asking her fans for help with the hospital costs. They surpassed their $50k goal — and the current collection sits at a whopping $460k.



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