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Mary Lou Retton. (Image credit: McKenna Kelley/Spotfund)

'Thank You Jesus': Mary Lou Retton Back at Home After Spending Weeks in ICU Fighting for Her Life

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Former Olympic gold medalist Mary Lou Retton has returned home from the hospital and is continuing to recover from a rare form of pneumonia, her daughter announced on social media Monday with a special "Thank you" to Jesus. 

"UPDATE.  Mom is HOME & in recovery mode," McKenna Kelley, Retton's second daughter with ex-husband Shannon Kelley wrote in an Instagram post. "We still have a long road of recovery ahead of us, but baby steps." 

"We are overwhelmed with the love and support from everyone. Grateful doesn't scrape the surface of the posture of our hearts," McKenna continued. 

"Thank you Jesus, thank you doctors & nurses, thank you to this loving community of support," she concluded. 

slider img 2Kelley's update comes a few days after her sister Shayla Schrepfer, Retton's oldest daughter, revealed that their mom had undergone a "pretty scary setback" while she was still in the ICU. 

As CBN News reported, Retton's family announced on social media earlier this month that she was in the hospital fighting for her life and asking people to pray on her behalf.  They also revealed they had started a fundraising campaign on Retton's behalf for medical expenses, sharing on a Spotfund page that her mother does not currently have medical insurance.

"My amazing mom, Mary Lou, has a very rare form of pneumonia and is fighting for her life," she wrote in a message on the fundraising page. "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."

"We ask that if you could help in any way, that 1) you PRAY! and 2) if you could help us with finances for the hospital bill," Kelley continued.

The fundraiser's goal was set at $50,000.  As of Tuesday, 8,319 people have donated $459,304. 

In addition, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee told several media outlets it was expediting financial assistance to Retton through its relief fund. 

Retton became a U.S. sports icon at the age of 16 after becoming the first American woman to ever win a gold medal in gymnastics during the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

She also won two silver and two bronze medals at those games and helped bring gymnastics – a sport long dominated by Eastern European powers like Romania and the Soviet Union – into the mainstream in the U.S.

She retired in 1986, but remained in the spotlight playing cameo roles in daytime television including performing on season 27 of Dancing with the Stars, People Magazine reported.

In 1997, she was inducted into the Gymnastics Hall of Fame and also had a park and street named for her in her hometown of Fairview, West Virginia.

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Retton, a born-again Christian, once told CBN that her faith has kept her grounded through the highs and lows of fame. 

"I wouldn't be where I am today without my relationship with God," she shared. "My relationship with Jesus Christ is so much stronger now, but then, I mean, I knew He gave me talent and I knew that He brought Bela Karolyi into my life to bring that talent out. I give Him all the glory. He gave me something, I worked for it, but I just praise Him every day for what He has in store for me." 

She added, "He has a purpose for all of us. And I think winning that gold medal and putting me in that public arena was just a small little step of what He has in store for me. I really believe that."

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About The Author

Steve Warren is a senior multimedia producer for CBN News. Warren has worked in the news departments of television stations and cable networks across the country. In addition, he also worked as a producer-director in television production and on-air promotion. A Civil War historian, he authored the book The Second Battle of Cabin Creek: Brilliant Victory. It was the companion book to the television documentary titled Last Raid at Cabin Creek currently streaming on Amazon Prime. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in Communication from the University of