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7 Signs You May Have Life-Threatening Pneumonia Like Mary Lou Retton

The Olympic gymnast is “fighting for her life,” according to her daughter. 

Mary Lou Retton, the first woman in history to win the all-around gold medal in the 1984 Olympics, is one of the most celebrated Olympians. After she retired from the sport, she went on to appear in movies like Scrooged and became a motivational speaker. This week, her daughter announced some sad news: The 55-year-old has life-threatening pneumonia. 

Mary Lou Retton's Daughter Revealed She Is "Fighting for Her Life"

Mary Lou Retton
US Health and Human Services

Retton's daughter McKenna Lane Kelley shared on social media that her mom is "fighting for her life" in the intensive care unit and that her mother "is not able to breathe on her own." She added that she had been in the intensive care unit for more than a week and that her pneumonia was "a very rare form."

She Has a "Rare Form of Pneumonia" and Has Been in the ICU for a Week


"Hey everyone! On behalf of my sisters and I, we need y'all's help. My amazing mom, Mary Lou, has a very rare form of pneumonia and is fighting for her life. She is not able to breathe on her own. She's been in the ICU for over a week now. Out of respect for her and her privacy, I will not disclose all details," she wrote on the fundraising website Spotfund.

She Is Not Insured


"However, I will disclose that she not insured. 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!" she added. 

Difficulty Breathing


There are a few symptoms that signify a serious case of pneumonia. The first sign you need to see your doctor is if you have difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, says the Mayo Clinic

Chest Pain


Another serious symptom of pneumonia is chest pain "when you breathe or cough," they say. 

Persistent Fever of 102 and Up


If you have a persistent fever of 102 and up, or fever, sweating and shaking chills, that can also be a sign of life-threatening pneumonia. 

Persistent Cough


A persistent cough, "especially if you're coughing up pus," is another sign you could have a serious case of pneumonia. 



Adults age 65 and over should be concerned if they experienced Confusion or changes in mental awareness.

Low Body Temperature


Lower than normal body temperature, especially in adults older than age 65 and people with weak immune systems, is another concerning symptom. 

 RELATED: Surprising Signs You've Already Had COVID

Gastrointestinal Issues


There are a few gastrointestinal issues common with pneumonia. They are nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

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