Mary Lou Retton’s “Dancing With the Stars” partner, Sasha Farber, shared an update amid the former Olympic gold-medal gymnast’s health scare.
Retton has been hospitalized for more than a week after contracting “a very rare form of pneumonia,” her daughter said Tuesday. Retton’s daughter McKenna Kelley has launched a fundraising campaign to help pay for her mother’s medical expenses. In the description for the campaign, Kelley explains that her “amazing mom” is in the intensive care unit “fighting for her life” with no medical insurance.
“She is not able to breathe on her own,” Kelley wrote. “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. ANYTHING, absolutely anything, would be so helpful for my family and my mom. Thank y’all so very much!”
Pro dancer Farber was paired with Retton during the 27th season of the popular ballroom dance competition show, in 2018, and after Tuesday’s episode he told “Entertainment Tonight” that he’d checked on Retton earlier in the day. “I’ve been talking to her today and she’s fighting,” Farber said, adding that Retton was like family to him.
“She kind of wants to give up, but I’m sending her videos of her dancing and I’m telling her, ‘There’s only one Mary Lou Retton. You’ve got this!’”
Farber said Retton reached out to him a few weeks ago when she was in Los Angeles. “She was like, ‘Let me take you out for dinner,’ and I couldn’t go because I had rehearsals.
“But I just mean, you know, you’ve got to see the people [you care about], you’ve gotta say hi, you gotta call them,” Farber added. “And I’ve been speaking to her today.”
Kelley also shared an update via Instagram on Wednesday, thanking everyone for the outpouring of love and support. “Mom is in the ICU and continues to fight. She is getting incredible medical care! Thank you to all the doctors and nurses.”
She concluded asking for “continued prayers and positive thoughts for our Mom.”
Retton, 55, is an Olympic bronze, silver and gold medalist who famously competed for the United States at the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles. During her Olympic run, Retton collected more medals than any other athlete at the ’84 Games and became the first American woman to win gold in gymnastics.
Retton is also the only woman to win three American Cups and the only U.S. gymnast to win Japan’s Chunichi Cup. She retired from competitive gymnastics in 1986 and was inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1997.
By late Wednesday evening, her daughter’s fundraising efforts had surpassed the $50,000 goal and reached $320,699. Linda McIngvale — wife of Texas businessman Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale’s — was the top donor, offering $50,000 toward Retton’s recovery.
Retton, a mother of four daughters, lives in Texas. She was married to Shannon Kelley, a businessman and former college football coach, for nearly 30 years before they divorced in 2018.
Times staff writer Christi Carras and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
Follow us on Facebook : https://web.facebook.com/wacnews
To receive the latest news on your phone using the Telegram application, click here: https://t.me/+KMdLTc0qS6ZkMGI0
Send us a message by Whatsapp : Whatsapp +44 7476844931