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Olympic gold medalist Mary Lou Retton suffers pneumonia, battling life-threatening complication

Mary Lou Retton

The renowned US gymnastics figure and Olympic gold medalist, Mary Lou Retton, faces a severe health crisis as she battles a rare form of pneumonia. Retton (55) has suffered from a very rare form of pneumonia and has been in an intensive care unit for over a week.

Retton’s daughter, McKenna Kelley on Tuesday revealed that Retton is struggling to breathe independently. She said her mother has been hospitalized for more than a week after contracting “a very rare form of pneumonia.”

Taking it to Instagram, Kelley wrote that her mother “is not able to breathe on her own” and that she had been in the intensive care unit for more than a week.

“She is not able to breathe on her own,” Kelley writes.

“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. Thank y’all so very much!” reads the Instagram post.

Mary Lou Retton is one of the most popular athletes in the country. She won the all-around women’s gymnastics competition at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Retton became the first American woman to win the all-around gold medal along with other four medals in Los Angeles of which two silvers, for team and vault, and two bronzes, for uneven bars and floor exercise, all while still a high school student.

Retton is also the only woman to win three America’s Cups and the only American gymnast to win Japan’s Chunichi Cup. In 1996, she announced her retirement from competitive gymnastics, and in 1997, she was inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

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