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Mary Lou Retton Says Her Illness is a “Medical Mystery”

Mary Lou Retton Says Her Illness is a “Medical Mystery”

Mary Lou Retton has given a new update on her health following her time in the ICU last fall.

During a sit-down conversation with Entertainment Tonight, the gold medalist disclosed that her doctors “still don’t know what’s wrong” with her. “They’re calling it a rare form of pneumonia, but I didn’t test virally for anything, bacterial, fungal … I mean, nothing,” she said.

She confirmed that her case is officially being considered a “medical mystery.”

In early October, Retton was placed in the ICU after suffering from a mysterious illness that affected her lungs. The news became public when her daughter Kelly set up a fundraiser on Spotfund to pay for her mother’s medical expenses. Retton was ultimately released after a multi-week hospital stint later that month.

Now, the former gymnast says, her lungs “are pretty scarred up and they’re going to stay that way.” When asked for clarification on whether the damage from her illness was permanent, Retton confirmed that her lungs will stay that way “forever.”

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Retton also noted that she still has a hard time breathing and getting breath to speak. “I’m a speaker [and I] haven’t been able to really work ’cause 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.”

“It’s been hard, I have to say,” she continued. “The lungs are a different beast. It’s a very long recovery. I’m still on oxygen, had a bit of a relapse a while ago, but I’m back.”

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