The family of former Olympic champion Mary Lou Retton shared some good news Saturday: the 55-year-old former gymnast is making “remarkable” progress as she battles a rare form of pneumonia.
McKenna Kelley, one of Retton’s four daughters, posted an update on Instagram, the NY Post reports.
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“We’re thrilled to share some uplifting updates!” she said.
“Mom’s progress is truly remarkable! Prayers have been felt and have been answered,” Kelley wrote. “Although she remains in the ICU, her path to recovery is steadily unfolding. Her fighting spirit is truly shining!
Retton’s family disclosed earlier this week that she was “fighting for her life” and unable to breath on her own.
“Her breathing is becoming stronger, and her reliance on machines is diminishing,” Kelley posted Saturday.
“Though it’s a lengthy journey, witnessing these improvements is incredibly heartening,” Kelley wrote. “She’s responding so well to treatments.”
Donations have poured into a fundraiser the family set up to help offset Retton’s medical expenses after the family said she didn’t have medical insurance.
There have been more than 7,500 donations totalling more than $A659,000 by Saturday afternoon.
Nicknamed “America’s Sweetheart,” Retton was 16 when she became an icon of the U.S. Olympic movement during her gold medal-winning performance at the 1984 summer games in Los Angeles.
The native of Fairmont, West Virginia, also won two silver and two bronze medals at those Olympics to help bring gymnastics — a sport long dominated by powers like Romania and the Soviet Union — into the mainstream in the U.S.
This article originally appeared on the NY Post and was reproduced with permission.