Mary Lou Retton Shares Health Update In Thanksgiving Message


Mary Lou Retton says she’s “reminded of the preciousness of life” and “the resilience of the human spirit” more than a month after a health scare forced her to spend weeks in the hospital.

“As we gather to celebrate this Thanksgiving, my heart is overflowing with profound gratitude,” the 55-year-old former Olympic gymnast and gold medalist wrote on her Instagram page on Thursday, Nov. 23.

“I want to express how truly blessed and thankful I am to be slowly improving and to be home with my girls, especially after my time in the hospital.”

On Oct. 10, Retton’s daughters revealed she was hospitalized and “fighting for her life” with a rare form of pneumonia in an intensive care unit. At the time, they asked for financial support in a crowd-funding page, explaining that Retton doesn’t have health insurance.

Later that month, her daughter McKenna Kelley shared Retton was recovering at home after spending multiple weeks in the hospital.

Retton thanked her children in her new post.

“The love and support of my four amazing daughters have been a source of strength and inspiration throughout my journey. Their presence in my life is a testament to the incredible bonds of family,” she wrote in her Thanksgiving message.

“My extended family, all of you, have shown me immeasurable kindness, offering prayers, encouragement, and unwavering support during my challenging times. Your love has been a beacon of hope in my life.”

Mary Lou Retton and family
Mary Lou Retton with her family. @marylouretton via Instagram

The post was accompanied by several photos of Retton with her family. She has four daughters with former University of Texas quarterback Shannon Kelley; they divorced in 2018, according to People.

Her new message comes less than a month after the former gymnast called her recovery “a long and slow process.” On Thanksgiving, she focused on everything she’s grateful for.

“On this day of giving thanks, I am reminded of the preciousness of life, the love that surrounds me, and the resilience of the human spirit,” she wrote.

Mary Lou Retton
Retton competes on the balance beam during the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.Focus On Sport / Getty Images

Almost $460,000 has been raised on the crowd-funding site Spotfund, on a page her daughters created to help with covering Retton’s medical costs. The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee said it was working to provide assistance to Retton’s family through its relief fund.

“Please know that our hearts are with Mary Lou,” the committee said in a statement to NBC News.

Retton won five medals at the 1984 Summer Olympic Games held in Los Angeles, including a gold for her performance in the individual all-around competition. She retired in 1986.





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