Olympic Gymnast Mary Lou Retton's Intensive Battle for Survival in ICU

Wed Oct,2023
Olympic Gymnast Mary Lou Retton's Intensive Battle for Survival in ICU Gymnast

Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton, who won the all-around gold in 1984, is critically ill with rare pneumonia. She can’t breathe on her own and has been in ICU for a week. Her daughter, also a gymnast, asks for prayers and donations for her uninsured mother. Retton, a national icon and Sports Illustrated’s Sportswoman of the Year is battling a disease with no cure.

Who is Mary Lou Retton?

Mary Lou Retton is a retired American gymnast who made history at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles by becoming the first American woman to win the individual all-around gold medal. She also won two silver medals and two bronze medals, making her one of the most decorated gymnasts of her time.

Mary-Lou-RettonMary Lou Retton is a retired American gymnast. 


Retton was named Sports Illustrated’s Sportswoman of the Year in 1984 and became a household name and a national icon. She was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1997 and has appeared in various movies, TV shows, and commercials.

What happened to her?

According to her daughter, McKenna Kelley, Retton has been hospitalized for over a week with a rare form of pneumonia that has made her unable to breathe on her own. She is currently in the intensive care unit (ICU) and is “fighting for her life”.

Kelley did not disclose the details of her mother’s condition, but asked for prayers and donations to help with the medical expenses, as Retton is uninsured. Kelley set up a fundraising page on Spotfund with a goal of $50,000 and has received nearly $8,000 from 109 donors as of Tuesday.

How Are People Reacting?

Many people have expressed their shock and sadness over Retton’s illness and have sent their well-wishes and support to her and her family. Some of her former teammates, rivals, and fans have also shared their memories and admiration for her on social media.

Mary-Lou-RettonMary Lou Retton is critically ill with rare pneumonia.


For example, Nadia Comaneci, the Romanian gymnast who was the first to score a perfect 10 at the Olympics, tweeted: “Sending love and prayers to my friend Mary Lou Retton who is in ICU fighting for her life.”

Julianne Hough, who was Retton’s partner on season 27 of Dancing with the Stars, posted a photo of them on Instagram and wrote: “You are one of the strongest women I know and I’m sending you all my love and prayers.”

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What Is The Outlook For Her Recovery?

It is now unknown how long Retton will be in the intensive care unit or what her prognosis is for recovery. Pneumonia is a dangerous illness that inflames the air sacs in one or both lungs, making it difficult to breathe and causing additional symptoms such as fever, cough, chest discomfort, and so on. Bacteria, viruses, fungi, and even other creatures can all play a role in its development. 

Mary-Lou-Retton Mary Lou Retton has been in ICU for a week. 


Serious complications, such as sepsis, respiratory failure, and organ damage, can result from even milder kinds of pneumonia. Pneumonia treatment plans are tailored to each patient based on their specific symptoms, severity of infection, and general health. Medication may take the form of antibiotics, antivirals, oxygen therapy, fluid replacement, or mechanical breathing.

In addition, the factors discussed above all affect how long it takes to heal. Recuperation time might vary widely from person to person, from a matter of weeks to months.

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How Can People Help?

People who want to help Retton and her family can do so by donating to her fundraising page on Spotfund, which will go towards covering her hospital bills. They can also share the page with their friends and networks to spread awareness and raise more funds. 

Additionally, they can send their prayers and positive thoughts to Retton and hope for her speedy recovery. They can also show their appreciation and gratitude for her achievements and legacy as an Olympic champion and a gymnastics legend.