Olympic Gold Medalist Mary Lou Retton ‘Fighting For Her Life’ In ICU, Daughter Says


Mariane Angela Contributor
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Olympic gold medalist and former teenage gymnast Mary Lou Retton is currently in intensive care as she fights a “very rare” type of pneumonia.

Retton’s daughter, McKenna Kelley, launched a fundraising campaign on SpotFund as she appealed for prayers and financial assistance for her mother. Kelley posted a plea for assistance on the fundraising website Tuesday and revealed the critical health crisis her mother is currently facing. Retton requires mechanical assistance to breathe, she said. The fundraising has reached $160,000 as of Wednesday morning, surpassing its initial target of $50,000.

“Hey everyone! On behalf of my sisters and I, we need y’all’s help,” Kelley wrote. “My amazing mom, Mary Lou, has a very rare form of pneumonia and is fighting for her life. She is not able to breathe on her own. She’s been in the ICU for over a week now.” (RELATED: Former Olympian Pleads Guilty To Abusing, Grooming Teen Student)

Retton, 55, does not have health insurance to aid in her medical expenses, Kelley said. “Out of respect for her and her privacy, I will not disclose all details. However, I will disclose that she [is] not insured,” she continued.

“We ask that if you could help in any way, that 1) you PRAY! and 2) if you could help us with finances for the hospital bill.”

Kelley expressed her gratitude and deep appreciation for the overwhelming response, emphasizing that any contribution, no matter how small, would make a meaningful difference in her family’s time of need. “ANYTHING, absolutely anything, would be so helpful for my family and my mom. Thank y’all so very much!” Kelley wrote.

Retton etched her name in the sports history books back in 1984 by becoming the first American woman to secure the individual all-around gold medal at the Los Angeles Summer Olympics, where she medaled a total of five times. In addition to her gymnastics career, Retton also appeared in several films and TV shows, including “Baywatch” in 1993 and the film “Naked Gun 33 ¹/₃: The Final Insult,” per IMDB.