Mary Lou Retton is opening up about her health scare for the first time since her 2023 hospitalization.
The 55-year-old Olympic gold medalist was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit in October after she fell ill with a rare form of pneumonia. She and her family have kept most of the details surrounding the event private until now.
During an interview with Hoda Kotb, which is set to air tomorrow (Jan. 8), Retton revealed that doctors nearly put her on life support.
“I’m very private and to come out and talk about it, usually my interviews are, ‘Oh yes, it felt great to win the Olympics!’ And this is serious, and this is life,” she shared during a preview. “I am so grateful to be here. I am blessed to be here because there was a time when they were about to put me on life support.”
Mary Lou Retton was wearing an oxygen tube during the interview, proving that she is still recovering. She admitted that she is currently “in a very vulnerable state.”
Mary Lou Retton to Share Details About Her “Long and Slow” Recovery Process
When the gymnast was first hospitalized, her daughters alerted fans that she was “fighting for her life” in the ICU. The Retton family set up a Spot Fund page in her name after announcing that she did not have health insurance. The goal was to raise $50,000 to put towards Retton’s hospital bills. However, people donated more than $450,000.
Retton went home a few weeks later and gave her fans an update via Instagram. In it, she wrote that she was “beyond blessed to have the opportunity to make this statement.” She went on to thank everyone for the “love and support.”
She concluded by writing that she would share more about her “health issues” when she was ready. But at that time, she needed to focus on herself and her family.
Mary Lou Retton’s daughter, Shayla Schrepfer, joined the exclusive interview. She has been an active part of her mother’s “long and slow” recovery process.
The entire segment will play during the Monday installment of the Today Show at 7:30 AM.