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Mary Lou Retton Believes God Pulled Her Through Health Scare

Photo from Mary Lou Retton’s Instagram

Mary Lou Retton Believes God Pulled Her Through Health Scare

By Movieguide® Contributor

Mary Lou Retton believes that God isn’t done with her yet.

The 1984 five-time Olympic medal winner almost lost her life due to a bad encounter with a pneumonia-like disease last year. In an interview with ET, she discussed how recovery has been.

“Well, I’m obviously still on oxygen. I’m tired of this thing up my nose…I’m a speaker haven’t been able to really work because I don’t know if I can get up on stage and do an hour-long talk like I’ve normally done for 40 years that’s frustrating,” she said.

Retton explained how her illness was so severe that doctors told her family she might not make it.

“It was that close, and they prayed over me, and were about to put me on the ventilator, and I pulled through. I believe it’s the big man upstairs honestly. He’s not ready for me up there,” the former gymnast reflected.

She shared that her daughters “said their goodbyes and said, ‘mom it’s okay you can go,’ because once they put you on the ventilator, it’s hard to come off.”

Thankfully, Retton survived.

GodUpdates reported, “As prayers poured in, Mary Lou Retton kept getting stronger. And her oxygen numbers kept getting better. Finally, she was ready to go home, where she was able to enjoy the Christmas season and end of 2023 with her family.”

Movieguide® previously reported on Retton’s daughter Mckenna’s gratitude for all the prayers.

“We still have a long road of recovery ahead of us, but baby steps,” the former Olympian’s daughter McKenna Kelley wrote on Instagram. “We are overwhelmed with the love and support from everyone. Grateful doesn’t scrape the surface of the posture of our hearts.” She added, “Thank you Jesus, thank you doctors & nurses, thank you to this loving community of support.” 

In her interview with ET, Retton revealed that despite her ongoing health struggles, her life is full of blessings.

“You’ve got a lot of love in your family right now. We’ve got one daughter tying the knot. You’ve got another daughter expecting a baby. You’re going to be a first-time grandmother! How does that all feel?” ET’s Deidre Behar asked.

Retton teared up as she responded, “I have so much to look forward to. I named myself by the way, it’s ‘Lulu.’ There’s not many Lulus out there…Her name’s going to be Penelope, so it’s a little girl.”

Retton concluded by saying her four daughters — Shayla, McKenna, Skyla and Emma — are what got her through such a difficult time. “They inspire me, and they do every day. They’re extraordinary young women. They’re my biggest accomplishments. Take my five medals, I’ll take my daughters over that anytime,” she emphasized.


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