Mary Lou Retton leaves hospital, returns home following illness, family says

UPI
Five-time U.S. Olympic gold medal winner Mary Lou Retton has returned home following weeks of hospitalization with a rare form of pneumonia, her family announced Monda. File Photo by Chris Corder/UPI

Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Gymnastics legend and former U.S. Olympian Mary Lou Retton is out of the hospital after surviving a near-fatal bout with a rare form of pneumonia, her daughter announced Monday.

Retton, 55, has returned home following a weeks-long hospital stay in which she was said to have been fighting for her life, her daughter McKenna Kelley said Monday in an Instagram post.

"Mom is HOME & in recovery mode," Kelley wrote. "We still have a long road of recovery ahead of us, but baby steps.

"We are overwhelmed with the love and support from everyone. Grateful doesn't scrape the surface of the posture of our hearts," she continued. "Thank you Jesus, thank you doctors and nurses, thank you to this loving community of support."

Monday's update came just four days after Retton's family said she had a 'scary' setback and remained in intensive care in her battle against pneumonia.

Shayla Kelley Schrepfer, another of Retton's daughters, posted a video update about her mother on Instagram in which she said, "We had a pretty scary setback. She is still in ICU. We are just working through some things, as far as her setback goes."

Previous to that, Shrepfer said Retton was making "remarkable" progress, remarking that her breathing was becoming stronger and her "reliance on machines" was diminishing.

The first indication that Retton was in serious health trouble came on Oct. 11 when her family she was fighting for her life" in the intensive care unit and revealed she was not insured.

They set up an online fundraiser which started with a goal of $50,000 but eventually had eclipsed $459,000 as of Monday.

Retton became the first American woman to win the individual all-around gold medal at the 1984 Olympics, taking five gold medals overall. Her achievements earned her widespread fame and public adoration as an all-American icon in the 1980s.