US Olympic Star, 55, Falls Seriously Ill Now 'Fighting For Her Life'
Mary Lou Retton, the iconic Olympic gold medalist, is currently in a fight for her life. According to a message posted by her daughter, McKenna Kelley, on a crowdfunding site called SpotFund, the 55-year-old gymnast is currently battling a rare form of pneumonia and is fighting for her life in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Shockingly, the message also revealed that Retton does not currently have health insurance.
The message from Kelley asked for prayers and help for her mom and her family, stating that Retton has been in the ICU for over a week and is unable to breathe on her own. While the family has not disclosed all the details of Retton's condition out of respect for her privacy, they have shared that she is uninsured and the hospital bills are adding up.
The fundraiser, which was started with a goal of $50,000, has already received an overwhelming response, surpassing its goal by over $222,000. More than 4,000 donors have contributed to the fund for the beloved gymnast who captured the hearts of Americans with her history-making performance at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
U.S. gymnastics legend Mary Lou Retton, the first American woman to win the all-around gold medal at the 1984 Olympics, is now fighting for her life against a rare form of pneumonia, her family says. @kristendahlgren reports and @drtaranarula shares medical insight. pic.twitter.com/ousA8QGs7r
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) October 11, 2023
At just 16 years old, Retton made history by becoming the first American woman to win an individual all-around gold medal, catapulting her to fame and earning her the title of Sports Illustrated's "Sportswoman of the Year." She also famously appeared on the Wheaties box, cementing her place as a household name.
Retton's accomplishments didn't stop there. She went on to win the American Cup all-around competition for the third time in 1985 before retiring in 1986. In 1997, she was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
Retton shares four daughters with her ex-husband Shannon Kelley. Her daughter McKenna followed in her mother's footsteps, competing as a gymnast at Louisiana State University. With Retton's health hanging in the balance, the family is asking for financial assistance to cover the mounting hospital bills.
The overwhelming response to the fundraiser is a testament to Retton's impact on the world of gymnastics and the hearts of those who have been inspired by her story. As the family continues to navigate this difficult time, they are grateful for the outpouring of support and ask for continued prayers for Retton's recovery.