Legendary Olympic Athlete Suffers ‘Scary Setback’ Amid Pneumonia Battle

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Robert McGreevy Contributor
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Former Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton suffered a “scary setback” in her fight with a rare form of pneumonia, her daughter announced on Instagram on Wednesday. 

“Basically at the beginning of this week we were going on the up and up, we were so excited, seeing so much progress. And then yesterday we had a pretty scary setback,” her daughter Shayla Schrepfer shared. 

“She is still in ICU and we’re just working through some things as far as her setback goes. So I just wanted to give an update there,” Schrepfer said.

Retton was admitted to the hospital in early October with a rare form of pneumonia, her other daughter, McKenna Kelley, announced on a Spotfund page set up to raise money to treat her uninsured mother.

Originally set to raise $50,000 for Retton, the page has garnered a whopping $455,000 by the time of publication. On the page, Kelley revealed her mother was unable to breathe on her own. (RELATED: ‘Dark Shadows’ Actress Lara Parker Dead At 84)

Schrepfer previously shared that her mother was making great progress, telling her Instagram followers on Saturday that Retton’s “breathing is becoming much stronger, and her reliance on machines is diminishing.”

That progress was apparently halted, though Schrepfer noted on Wednesday that “she had a better day today, which is great, just really really exhausted.”

“Just wanted to give an update and thank you guys again for just the support. I’m getting so many messages and emails, and it’s just so great to see people love on her,” Schrepfer concluded.

Retton was a five time Olympic medalist in gymnastics, most notably taking gold in the All-around at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.