Olympic gymnastics champion Mary Lou Retton was rushed to hospital and remains in intensive care after suffering from breathing difficulties on Monday.
Retton’s daughter, McKenna Kelley, shared her mother’s condition in an Instagram post, announcing the top athlete was suffering from pneumonia.
Kelley said her mother, 55, is “fighting for her life” and unable to breathe independently.
Retton became the first American woman to win the Olympic all-around title.
Fox News reported that she won five medals in the 1984 Games, including two silver medals for team and vault and two bronze medals in the uneven bars and floor exercise.
As the outlet noted, for 20 years, Retton held the distinction of being the only American woman to win the all-around title. In 2004, Carly Patterson became the second woman from the U.S. to accomplish the feat.
Mary Lou Retton, one of the greatest names in U.S. Olympic history, “has a very rare form of pneumonia and is fighting for her life,” according to her daughter McKenna Kelley’s Instagram story. “She is not able to breathe on her own. She’s been in the ICU for over a week now.” pic.twitter.com/9LnwOJNP1J— Christine Brennan (@cbrennansports) October 10, 2023
After she retired from gymnastics, Retton became a motivational speaker and frequently shared messages about the benefit of proper nutrition and exercise. She also served on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports under former President George W. Bush.
Kelley began a fundraising campaign for medical expenses, writing that Retton does not currently have medical insurance.
“Please help my mom continue to fight,” Kelley wrote.
“Out of respect for her and her privacy, I will not disclose all details.”
“However, I will disclose that she is not insured.”
“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.”
‘ANYTHING, absolutely anything, would be so helpful for my family and my mom,’ she added. ‘Thank y’all so very much!’
The fundraiser target has a goal of $50,000 and already has 109 donors, generating close to $8,000.
No more specific information on the Olympic gymnastics champion’s condition, but added that the pneumonia was “a very rare form” and she was suffering breathing difficulties.
As The Daily Mail noted, Retton, who once made a cameo in ‘Baywatch’ along with other movies and TV shows, even has a road and park named in her honor back in her hometown of Fairmont West Virginia.