Mary Lou Retton Speaks Out In Personal First Statement About Ongoing Health Battle

Mary Lou Retton is going on the record about her continued health journey.

The Olympic gymnastics legend, 55, shared her first statement since being hospitalized earlier this month with what one of her daughters said was a rare form of pneumonia.

Mary Lou posted an update to Instagram on Monday and assured fans that she’s on the road to recovery but taking the time she needs to heal.

“I’m beyond blessed to have the opportunity to make this statement. I am overwhelmed with all the love and support from the world as I fight. I am grateful to you all! I’m with family continuing to slowly recover and staying very positive as I know this recovery is a long and slow process. I appreciate everyone’s respect of my privacy at this time,” she wrote, adding that she hopes to provide more details that could be of service to those with similar struggles.

“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,” her post concluded.

News of Mary Lou’s illness first broke earlier this month after her daughter, McKenna Kelly, revealed in an Oct. 10 Instagram story that the retired athlete had been in the ICU for more than a week and couldn’t breathe on her own.

McKenna included information for a SpotFund account she and her family created to help cover medical costs, explaining that Mary Lou does not have insurance. As of Wednesday afternoon, the page had raised nearly $460,000, far surpassing its $50,000 goal. 

Another of Mary Lou’s daughters, Shayla Schrepfer, previously told followers in a candid Instagram video on Oct. 10 that her famous mom is “still fighting” and loved ones are choosing their public comments carefully.

“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 added at the time.

Shayla went on to praise Mary Lou’s medical team and shared gratitude on behalf of her and her three sisters, saying they are all “overwhelmed” with the outpouring of well wishes.

“We didn’t even realize that there’s so many people out there that love her just as much as we do. And it’s been a really hard time for our family, so just seeing that people love her like that, and are showing her that support, it’s just meant the world to us and to her,” Shayla continued.

Mary Lou remains one of the most decorated gymnasts of all time. She made history as the first American woman to win the all-around gold at the 1984 Olympics, also taking home two silver medals and two bronze medals at that year’s Games.

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