Olympian Mary Lou Retton Is Home After Battling Pneumonia in Hospital


    After “fighting for her life” in the hospital earlier this month, former Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton is now home.

    “Mom is HOME & in recovery mode,” the gold medalist’s daughter McKenna Lane Kelley, 26, wrote in a post to Instagram. “We still have a long road of recovery ahead of us, but baby steps. We are overwhelmed with the love and support from everyone. Grateful doesn’t scrape the surface of the posture of our hearts.”

    She continued: “Thank you Jesus, thank you doctors & nurses, thank you to this loving community of support.”

    News of Retton’s health scare broke on October 10, when McKenna wrote that her mom, 55, had been hospitalized due to complications from pneumonia and posted a link to an online fundraiser.

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    “My amazing mom, Mary Lou, has a very rare form of pneumonia and is fighting for her life,” McKenna wrote at the time. “She is not able to breathe on her own. She’s been in the ICU for over a week now. Out of respect for her and her privacy, I will not disclose all details. However, I will disclose that she is not insured.”

    The next day, Retton’s daughter Shayla Kelley Schrepfer shared in an Instagram video that her mom was “still fighting.” (Retton shares four daughters — Shayla, 28, McKenna, Skyla, 23, and Emma, 21, with her ex-husband, Shannon Kelley.)

    Olympian Mary Lou Retton is Home and In Recovery Mode After Hospital Stay With Pneumonia
    Courtesy of McKenna Lane Kelley/Instagram

    “It’s going to be a day by day process, and we hope that you guys will respect her boundaries as we want to keep the details between her and our family right now,” she said at the time.

    On October 15, McKenna took to her Instagram to share an encouraging update.

    “UPDATE! We’re thrilled to share some uplifting news. Mom’s progress is truly remarkable. Prayers have been felt and are being answered,” McKenna wrote at the time. “Although she remains in [the] ICU, her path to recovery is steadily progressing.

    She continued: “Her breathing is becoming stronger, and her reliance on machines is diminishing. Though it’s a lengthy journey, witnessing these improvements is incredibly heartening! She’s beginning to respond to treatments.”

    Retton’s former Dancing with the Stars partner, Sasha Farber, has shared his support and encouraged her not to “give up.” (Retton competed on season 27 of DWTS in 2018, and was eliminated after the sixth week of the competition.)

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    “I’ve been talking to her today and she’s fighting,” Farber, 39, told Entertainment Tonight on October 10. “She kind of wants to give up, but I’m sending her videos of her dancing and I’m telling her, ‘There’s only one Mary Lou Retton. You’ve got this!’”

    He continued: “You’ve got to see the people [you care about], you’ve gotta say hi, you gotta call them. And I’ve been speaking to her today. She’s a fighter. She’s going to be great.”

    Olympian Mary Lou Retton is Home and In Recovery Mode After Hospital Stay With Pneumonia

    Mary Lou Retton and her daughter, 2008.
    Michael Caulfield/WireImage/Getty Images

    During her time as a gymnast, Retton won a gold medal in the individual all-around competition at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. She was the first American woman to win gold at the event. She also took home two silver medals and two bronze medals during the Olympics.

    Retton retired from gymnastics in 1986 and was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of fame over a decade later in 1997.

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