intensive care

“She is still in ICU and we’re just working through some things as far as her setback goes”

Mary Lou Retton’s daughter revealed Wednesday that the Olympic-winning gymnast suffered a “scary setback” in her battle with a rare form of pneumonia that has left Retton hospitalized in intensive care this month.

On October 11, one of Retton’s daughters announced that her mother was “fighting for her life” and “not able to breathe on her own” amid the pneumonia battle. Since then, Retton’s family has frequently posted updates regarding their mother’s health status, and while her condition seemed to be improving recently, this week provided another challenge.

“Basically, at the beginning of this week, we were going on the up and up, we were so excited, seeing so much progress, and then yesterday we had a pretty scary setback,” Retton’s daughter Shayla Schrepfer said in an Instagram update Wednesday. “She is still in ICU, and we’re just working through some things as far as her setback goes.”

Schrepfer added that Wednesday itself was a “better day today, which is great,” but cautioned that the 55-year-old Retton is “just really, really exhausted.”


News of the setback comes just four days after Retton’s family said her progress had been “truly remarkable.” “Although she remains in the ICU, her path to recover is steadily unfolding,” they wrote on October 14. “Her fighting spirit is truly shining through.”

When Retton’s pneumonia battle was first announced, her family noted that she was not medically insured and posted a fundraising page hoping to raise $50,000 for her care. In the week that has passed since the page launched, over $450,000 has been raised, eight times its initial goal.