The daughter of former Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton has given an update on her mother’s condition, detailing how the US sports icon is “still fighting” for her life.
Earlier this week alarming reports detailed how Retton was in a battle for survival after having been admitted to intensive care with a rare form of pneumonia.
The 55-year-old’s family broke the troubling news on Tuesday, insisting that Retton “is not able to breathe on her own.”
The gymnast is widely considered one of the most iconic US athletes to have ever competed in Olympic gymnastics, having taken gold in the individual all-around competition at the 1984 games in Los Angeles.
Retton’s success marked the first time in history that an American woman had earned the all-around gold medal, and indeed any individual medal in gymnastics.
Unsurprisingly, Retton rose to national prominence through her feats, going on to appear in several films and TV shows throughout the 1980s and ’90s. She was also recognized as Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated in 1984.
As such, tributes flooded the internet after word broke concerning her current health troubles, while a Spotfund page established to help cover her medical costs had amassed over $370,000 as of yesterday afternoon.
Providing an update on her mom’s condition via a video message, Shayla Kelley Schrepfer, one of Retton’s four daughters, said:
“As far as an update goes, she’s still fighting. It’s going to be a day-by-day process.”
Shayla added: “She’s been treated with the best of the best professionals here and it has been such a blessing to have their hands on her.”
She also thanked well-wishes and expressed her joy at seeing just how many people were ready to support her mother.
“My sisters and I are overwhelmed,” Schrepfer said. “We didn’t even realize that there are so many people out there that love her just as much as we do.”
She continued: “It’s been a really hard time for our family, and so, just seeing that people love her like that and showing her that support has just meant the world to us and to her, so thank you.”