Mary Lou Retton, the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in gymnastics, is in intensive care with pneumonia. The 55-year-old icon, who inspired generations of athletes with her historic performance at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, is fighting for her life after a car accident that left her with multiple injuries and a lung infection. Her family and fans are praying for her recovery and supporting her through this difficult time.
How Mary Lou Retton Got Pneumonia
Retton was involved in a car accident on September 30, 2023, when a drunk driver hit her vehicle. She suffered a broken arm, a fractured rib, a concussion, and other injuries. She was hospitalized and underwent surgery to repair the damage.
A few days after the surgery, Retton developed a fever and difficulty breathing. Mary Lou Retton was diagnosed with pneumonia, a lung infection that can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Pneumonia can affect one or both lungs and can reduce the oxygen supply to the blood and other organs.
Retton was transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU) and put on a ventilator to help her breathe. She has been in the ICU for more than a week and is not able to breathe on her own, according to her daughter McKenna Kelley.
Pneumonia can be life-threatening, especially for older adults or people with weakened immune systems. It can cause respiratory failure, septic shock, or organ damage. The severity and duration of pneumonia depend on several factors, such as the type and extent of infection, the age and health of the patient, and the quality of treatment.
How Her Family and Fans Are Supporting Her
The husband of Mary Lou Retton, Shannon Kelley, and their four daughters are by her side at the hospital. They are praying for her recovery and thanking the medical staff for their care. They are also asking for privacy and respect from the media and the public.
Retton’s fans are sending her messages of love and encouragement on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. They are using hashtags such as #PrayForMaryLou, #MaryLouStrong, and #TeamRetton to show their solidarity. They are also sharing their memories of watching her compete and win at the Olympics.
Here are some of the messages from her fans:
- “Mary Lou Retton is my childhood hero. She taught me to dream big and work hard. I hope she gets well soon. #PrayForMaryLou”
- “Sending positive vibes to Mary Lou Retton and her family. She is a fighter and a legend. She will overcome this. #MaryLouStrong”
- “I still remember watching Mary Lou Retton win the gold medal in 1984. It was one of the most amazing moments in sports history. She is an inspiration to all of us. #TeamRetton”
Who is Mary Lou Retton?
Mary Lou Retton is one of the most celebrated gymnasts in history. She was born on January 24, 1968, in Fairmont, West Virginia. She started gymnastics at the age of eight and trained under renowned coach Bela Karolyi.
Mary Lou Retton rose to fame at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, where she won five medals: gold in the individual all-around, silver in the team competition and the vault, and bronze in the uneven bars and the floor exercise. She became the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in gymnastics and the first female athlete to grace the cover of a Wheaties box.
Remarkable Olympic Performance and Post-Retirement Activities
The performance of Mary Lou Retton at the Olympics was remarkable for several reasons. Retton had overcome a knee injury that required surgery just six weeks before the Games. She had competed against formidable rivals from Romania and China. She had scored perfect 10s on vault and floor exercises in the final rotation to clinch the all-around title by 0.05 points over Ecaterina Szabo of Romania.
Mary Lou Retton retired from competitive gymnastics in 1986 but remained active in media, education, and advocacy. She appeared in several movies and TV shows, such as Scrooged, Baywatch, Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult, Knots Landing, Guiding Light, Sabrina The Teenage Witch. She also hosted Saturday Night Live in 1985.
Legacy, Achievements, and Family Life
Retton actively participated in various causes related to health, fitness, sportsmanship, education, and women’s empowerment. Retton served on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports under President George W. Bush. She also supported charities such as Children’s Miracle Network, Special Olympics, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Retton was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Houston Sports Hall of Fame in 2020. She was named one of the top 10 female athletes of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated.
Retton married Shannon Kelley, a former quarterback at the University of Texas, in 1990. They have four daughters, all of whom are gymnasts. Their eldest daughter, Shayla, competed for the University of Alabama. McKenna, their second daughter, participated in competitions representing Louisiana State University. Their third daughter, Skyla, is a junior elite gymnast. Their youngest daughter, Emma, is a level 10 gymnast.
Questions and Answers
Q: What is pneumonia?
A: Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that causes inflammation and fluid buildup in the air sacs. It can make it hard to breathe and reduce the oxygen supply to the blood and other organs.
Q: What causes pneumonia?
A: Different types of germs, such as bacteria, viruses, or fungi, can cause pneumonia. Some common causes of pneumonia are streptococcus pneumoniae, influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, and pneumocystis jirovecii.
Q: How do doctors diagnose pneumonia?
A: Doctors diagnose pneumonia by reviewing the medical history, conducting a physical examination, and performing various tests. Some common tests for pneumonia are chest X-ray, blood culture, sputum culture, urine test, pulse oximetry, CT scan, and bronchoscopy.
Q: How is pneumonia treated?
A: The treatment for pneumonia depends on the cause, severity, and symptoms of the infection. Some common treatments are antibiotics (for bacterial pneumonia), antivirals (for viral pneumonia), antifungals (for fungal pneumonia), oxygen therapy (for low oxygen levels), fluids (for dehydration), pain relievers (for fever and discomfort), and cough suppressants (for cough).
Q: How can pneumonia be prevented?
A: Pneumonia can be prevented by getting vaccinated against some of the common causes of pneumonia, such as pneumococcal bacteria, influenza virus, and measles virus. Other ways to prevent pneumonia are washing hands frequently, avoiding contact with sick people, quitting smoking, eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, and managing chronic conditions.
Mary Lou Retton is in ICU with pneumonia after a car accident that injured her severely. Retton is receiving treatment and support from her family and fans. She is a legendary gymnast who won five medals at the 1984 Olympics and became a national icon. She is also a media personality, an advocate, and a mother of four daughters. Many people who admire and love her hope for her swift recovery and her return to her normal life.