Daughter of US hero Mary Lou Retton gives ICU update after 4 days – and it confirms what we all feared

Mary Lou Retton remains in hospital fighting a “very rare form” of pneumonia, and though reports last week suggested she might be on the mend, she’s apparently suffered a “scary setback”.

That’s according to the former Olympic star’s daughter, Shayla Kelley Schrepfer, who gave her first update in four days prior to the weekend.

Retton is widely regarded as one of the most iconic US athletes to have ever competed in Olympic gymnastics, having taken gold in the individual all-around competition at the 1984 games in Los Angeles.

Yet earlier this month alarming reports revealed that the 55-year-old was “fighting for her life” in intensive care as she battles a rare form of pneumonia.

Retton’s family broke the troubling news, insisting that the ex-gymnast was “not able to breathe on her own.”

Then followed a more positive update given by one of Retton’s four daughters, Shayla Kelley Schrepfer, who said her mother was making “remarkable” progress.


Mr. T and Mary Lou Retton host a food drive to benefit ‘Food For Survival’ at Planet Hollywood in Times Square, New York City. 03/21/2001. Photo: Evan Agostini / Getty Images

“Prayers have been felt and have been answered,” Shayla wrote in an Instagram post.

“Although she remains in the ICU, her path to recovery is steadily unfolding. Her fighting spirit is truly shining!

“Her breathing is becoming stronger, and her reliance on machines is diminishing.”

Meanwhile, a fundraising page set up by Retton’s family to pay for medical bills had amassed more than a whopping $400,000 in donations last weekend.


LOS ANGELES – AUGUST 1984: Mary Lou Retton of the USA waves to the crowd during the Women’s Gymnastics competition of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games held from July 30 to August 3, 1984 at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)

However, a more troubling update offered by Shayla last week suggests that Retton is not quite out of the woods just yet.

As per Fox, Shayla again took to Instagram to inform followers about her mother’s condition, but it wasn’t such good news this time around.

“Basically at the beginning of this week, we were going on the up and up,” she wrote. “We were so excited seeing so much progress. And then yesterday, we had a pretty scary setback.”

Though she didn’t elaborate on what the “setback” was, a day later, Shayla added: “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. She had a better day today, which is great. She is just really, really exhausted.”

Retton rose to national prominence through her feats at the 1984 Olympic Games, going on to appear in several films and TV shows throughout the 1980s and ’90s. She was also recognized as Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated in ’84.


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