Olympic gold medalist Mary Lou Retton is fighting for her life in the ICU as she suffers from a rare form of pneumonia. She has been in hospital for more than a week. Her daughter McKenna Kelley has been asking for financial support for her mother who does not have insurance.

“We ask that if you could help in any way, that 1) you PRAY!, and 2) if you could help us with finances for hospital bill. ANYTHING, absolutely anything, would be so helpful for my family and my mom. Thank y’all so very much!”

The campaign for Retton has already raised more than $278,999 which is more than five times the original amount of $50,000. The sum is from 4,935 individual donors.

On October 11, Kelley posted the following on Instagram:

“My sisters Skyla, Shayla, Emma and I would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and support for our Mom.

“Mom is in ICU and continues to fight. She is getting incredible medical care! Thank you to all the doctors and nurses!

“We ask for continued prayers and positive thoughts for our mom.”

Retton who is now 55 won a slew of medal at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. She won a gold medal in the all-round, silver medals in the team event and vault and bronze in the uneven bars and floor exercises.

There has also been much speculation as to why Retton does not have health insurance and whether she had it and has somehow lost coverage or wasn’t able to obtain coverage.

Netizens online also made the observation that she has been living in a Houston mansion, citing a May 2022 report that she was selling her luxury 9,000 square foot Houston home which has six bedrooms, six bathrooms and a swimming pool.

In a thread on X, epidemiologist and health economist Eric Feigl-Ding who has a large social media following says that it doesn’t make sense.

“I’m not sure if she’s still wealthy. Something must have happened. Or else they wouldn’t be crowdfunding for her medical bills. It’s sad a former Olympic champion who is famous like this now has to beg and crowdfund for medical care. I’m not sure if she is still a millionaire like some claim – people’s situations can quickly change.”

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