Mary Lou Retton has encountered a disheartening setback in her journey to recovery after battling a rare form of pneumonia. Retton’s eldest daughter, Shayla Schrepfer, took to Instagram to provide a heartfelt update, revealing that her mother remains in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
The 55-year-old Olympic athlete, who secured her place in history by becoming the first American to win an individual all-around gold medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, has been wrestling with the debilitating illness since earlier this month. Unfortunately, her path to recovery has taken an unexpected turn.
Schrepfer, 28, explained in an Instagram video posted on Wednesday, captioned “Update 🤍,” that the family had been initially encouraged by Mary Lou’s progress. In a joint statement with her sister McKenna Keller last weekend, they shared “uplifting” news of their mother’s “steadily unfolding” recovery. However, this latest update paints a different picture.
“We were so excited, seeing so much progress, and then yesterday we had a pretty scary setback,” Schrepfer revealed, her voice filled with concern. “She is still in ICU, and we’re just working through some things as far as her setback goes.” She went on to share that her mother had a better day that day, but also noted that Mary Lou was “really, really exhausted.”
In closing her video message, Schrepfer expressed her gratitude to the countless followers and fans for their unwavering support. “I’m getting so many messages and emails and just, it’s so great to see people love on her, so… that’s it,” she said.
This update comes after Schrepfer and Keller, aged 26, shared an Instagram post the previous Saturday, announcing that their mother was getting “stronger.” In a joint statement, they wrote, “We’re thrilled to share some uplifting updates! Mom’s progress is truly remarkable! Prayers have been felt and have been answered.”
The initial revelation of Mary Lou’s health condition came via an Instagram Story post by her second eldest daughter, Keller, on October 10. The post included a link to a fundraising page on Spotfund, where Keller disclosed that her mother had been hospitalized for over a week and was “fighting for her life.”
In her plea for support, Keller said, “My amazing mom, Mary Lou, has a very rare form of pneumonia and is fighting for her life. She is not able to breathe on her own. 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. However, I will disclose that she is not insured.”
Mary Lou also shares daughters Skyla and Emma with her ex-husband, Shannon Kelley.
Since the news of Mary Lou’s hospitalization became public, the Spotfund page established to help cover her medical expenses has seen an outpouring of donations. The page has currently raised more than $450,000, highlighting the immense support from fans and well-wishers for the Olympic legend in her time of need.
Last week, Sasha Farber — who was Retton’s partner on Dancing With the Stars in 2018, gave ET an update on the decorated athlete.
“I’ve been talking to her today and she’s fighting,” shared Farber, who was joined by his current celeb partner, Alyson Hannigan. “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!'”
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