Mary Lou Retton’s daughter shared an “uplifting” health update Saturday as the former Olympic gymnast continues to battle a rare form of pneumonia in the hospital.
Her daughter McKenna Kelley wrote on Instagram, “Mom’s progress is truly remarkable. Prayers have been felt and are being answered. Although she remains in ICU, her path to recovery is steadily progressing. Her fighting spirit is truly shining!”
She continued, “Her breathing is becoming stronger, and her reliance on machines is diminishing. Though it’s a lengthy journey, witnessing these improvements is incredibly heartening! She’s beginning to respond to treatments. Once more, we extend our heartfelt gratitude for your overwhelming love and support.”
Earlier this week, Kelley revealed that her mother was “fighting for her life” in the intensive care unit with pneumonia. At the time, she said Retton had already been in the ICU for more than a week and was “not able to breathe on her own.”
The following day, her Dancing with the Stars season 27 pro partner, Sasha Farber, said that he had also spoken with Retton. “I’ve been talking to her today and she’s fighting,” he said. “She kind of wants to give up, but I’m sending her videos of her dancing and I’m telling her, ‘There’s only one Mary Lou Retton. You’ve got this!’”
Retton, who started gymnastics training at a young age, made history at the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles as the first American to win an Olympic individual all-around gold medal. At the games, she also won two silver medals and two bronze medals.
Retton, who has been inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame and the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame, retired from the sport in 1986.