Mary Lou Retton's Daughter Shares Health Update Amid Olympian's Battle With Rare Form of Pneumonia

As Mary Lou Retton continues to battle a rare kind of pneumonia in the hospital, her family is providing an update on the Olympian's health.

By Hayley Santaflorentina Oct 11, 2023 7:12 PMTags
Watch: Olympic Gymnast Mary Lou Retton “Fighting For Her Life”

Mary Lou Retton's health battle continues. 

The legendary gymnast's daughter Shayla Schrepfer shared a video to her social media thanking followers for their support amid her mom's fight with a rare form of pneumonia, while also taking a moment to update them on her condition. 

"She's still fighting," the 28-year-old said with a smile. "It's going to be a day by day process, and we hope that you guys will respect her boundaries as we want to keep the details between her and our family right now."

And Shayla affirmed her mom is in good hands. "She is being treated by the best of the best professionals here," she continued. "And it has been such a blessing to have their hands on her. So please continue the prayers. We cannot thank you enough for the love and support you guys have shown."

It is a level of public support that has touched Mary Lou, 55, and her family, including her and ex-husband Shannon Kelley's other three daughters McKenna, 26, Skyla, 23, and Emma, 21.

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"My sisters and I are overwhelmed," Shayla noted. "We didn't even realize that there's so many people out there that love her just as much as we do. And it's been a really hard time for our family, so just seeing that people love her like that, and are showing her that support, it's just meant the world to us and to her."

David Livingston / Getty Images

News of Mary Lou's ongoing battle with pneumonia was first shared by her daughter McKenna on Instagram Oct. 10. 

"She is not able to breathe on her own," she wrote. "She's been in the ICU for over a week now. Out of respect for her and her privacy, I will not disclose all details." 

In addition to asking followers and fans for their prayers and positive thoughts, the family also shared a link to a donation page, noting that their mother—who won five medals at the 1984 Olympics—is uninsured. "ANYTHING, absolutely anything, would be so helpful for my family and my mom," McKenna added. "Thank y'all so very much!"

In the decades since her retirement from gymnastics in 1986, Mary Lou, who picked up Team USA's first gold medal in the All-Around at the 1984 games, has reflected on her legacy.

"I am kind of the pioneer, I like to call myself," she noted to Get Connected in 2016. "We opened the door of a pretty strong and incredible legacy of USA gymnastics. I'm pretty humbled and pretty proud of that fact." 

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