Olympic gold medalist Mary Lou Retton is improving and responding to pneumonia treatment, daughter says



Olympic gold medalist Mary Lou Retton remains in the intensive care unit battling severe pneumonia, but 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 in an Instagram post. “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 that the famed gymnast was critically ill with a “very rare form of pneumonia,” according to a crowd-funding page she started to raise money for hospital bills. Kelley said her mother did not 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 previously said her mother could not breathe on her own.

But on Saturday, Kelley shared that the five-time Olympic medalist is not relying on machines as much and 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 retiring, 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 a 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.





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