Olympic gold medalist Mary Lou Retton remains in intensive care battling severe pneumonia, but she is improving and responding to treatment, her daughter said Saturday, calling her progress “truly remarkable.”
“We’re thrilled to share some uplifting news,” McKenna Kelley said on Instagram. “Prayers have been felt and are being answered. Although she remains in ICU, her path to recovery is steadily progressing. Her fighting spirit is truly shining!”
Kelley had said Retton was critically ill with a “very rare form of pneumonia,” according to a crowdfunding page she started to raise money for hospital bills. Kelley said her mother didn’t have health insurance.
It’s not clear where Retton, who lives in Houston, is being treated.
Retton, 55, has been in the hospital ICU for more than a week. Kelley has said her mother couldn’t breathe on her own.
But Saturday, Kelley shared that Retton, the five-time Olympic medalist, isn’t relying on machines as much and that her breathing “is becoming stronger.”
“Though it’s a lengthy journey, witnessing these improvements is incredibly heartening! She’s beginning to respond to treatments,” Kelley wrote. “Once more, we extend our heartfelt gratitude for your overwhelming love and support.”
Retton became the first American woman to win a gold medal in gymnastics when she scored a perfect 10 in the all-around competition at the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles. She went on to win four more medals, for a total of five, more than any other athlete that summer.
After she retired, Retton was a board member for USA Gymnastics and faced backlash for defending the organization amid the Larry Nassar sexual assault case. USA Gymnastics declined to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017; instead Retton and USA Gymnastics officials had a private discussion with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to discuss the organization’s policies to protect athletes from sexual abuse.
Source: NBC News