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Olympian Mary Lou Retton 'Faced Death In The Eyes' During Health Scare

Olympian Mary Lou Retton 'Faced Death In The Eyes' During Health Scare

In the 1980s, America fell in love with gymnast Mary Lou Retton as they watched her achieve Olympic fame. She was the first American woman to win a gold medal in gymnastics and was one of the athletes who appeared on a Wheaties cereal box. This past October however, she was fighting for her life. 

Even though so many years had passed since her Olympic win, she still held a place in our hearts. That was why when we heard the news last fall that she was hospitalized, we got down on our knees and prayed that she would be okay and recover. 

She and her oldest daughter Shalya joined Hoda Kotb on the Today Show to talk about what happened. Mother and daughter got emotional when they talked about how at one point the doctors didn’t think Mary Lou would make it. Her daughters surrounded her that day, praying, and saying their goodbyes. 

The prayers worked! Mary Lou pulled through and after a month in the hospital, was able to come home in time for the holidays. She was battling a rare form of pneumonia and the doctors still don’t know exactly what is going on. 

After she returned home, she had to battle another problem, hospital bills. The public was surprised to learn that Mary Lou didn’t have health insurance. Her daughters set up an online fundraiser to help her with the bills. 

It has been a harrowing time for Mary Lou and her family. She says in the video that, “You know, not great yet. I know it’s going to be a really long road. I don’t know how long I’ll indefinitely need the oxygen but you have no idea how blessed and how grateful I was for this holiday season.”

We need to keep Mary Lou and her family in our prayers as she navigates this unexpected health crisis in the months to come. 

Jeremiah 17:14 “Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.”

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