On the Mend
Mary Lou Retton has issued her first official statement since she was hospitalized in the ICU with pneumonia earlier this month.
“I’m beyond blessed to have the opportunity to make this statement,” she wrote on Instagram, speaking out for the first time since her health scare. “I am overwhelmed with all the love and support from the world as I fight. I am forever grateful to you all!”
Earlier this month, Retton’s daughter McKenna Lane Kelley revealed that her mother had been hospitalized and was battling a “very rare form of pneumonia.” Kelley provided regular updates on her mother’s condition, including a “scary setback” just a week before she was released from the hospital. She also disclosed that Retton was not insured and posted a fundraiser with a goal of raising $50,000. After the story was widely shared on media outlets, the fundraiser has garnered nearly $460,000 with over 8,300 donors.
In her statement, Retton said she is “continuing to slowly recover” now that she’s out of the hospital and at home.
“I’m with family and continuing to slowly recover and staying very positive as I know this recovery is a long and slow process. I appreciate everyone’s respect for my privacy at this time,” she wrote. “When the time is right, I will be sharing more information about my health issues and hope I can help others who may face the same battle as me. I love you all.”
The Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast made history at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles when she became the first American woman to win an individual all-around gold medal. Although Retton had undergone knee surgery weeks before the competition, she scored a perfect 10 on the floor and vault, beating Romania’s Ecaterina Szabo by five hundredths of a point.