'Beyond blessed': Mary Lou Retton provides update on her recovery from pneumonia

Gymnastics gold medal winner Mary Lou Retton participates in closing ceremonies of the 1984 Olympic Games.
Mary Lou Retton, the all-around gymnastics gold medal winner, participates in closing ceremonies of the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. (Los Angeles Times)

U.S. gymnastics legend Mary Lou Retton says she is "staying very positive" as she goes through the "long and slow process" of recovering from a rare form pneumonia that kept her in intensive care for more than two weeks.

"I'm beyond blessed to have the opportunity to make this statement," Retton posted Monday on Instagram. "I am overwhelmed with all the love and support from the world as I fight. I am forever grateful to you all."

It was the first time the public has heard directly from Retton since learning of her health scare earlier this month.

On Oct. 10, McKenna Kelley, the second-oldest of Retton's four adult daughters, announced on Instagram that her mother was in the ICU “fighting for her life” and "not able to breathe on her own.”

Read more: Mary Lou Retton was 4 feet, 9 inches of muscle and grit, claiming the ’84 Games as her own

Kelley also revealed at that time that her mother did not have medical insurance. An online fundraising campaign to help pay for Retton’s care has raised more than $450,000.

Since then, Kelley and older sister Shayla Schrepfer have taken to Instagram to provide updates on their mother's condition, including a "scary setback" almost two weeks ago and Retton's release from the hospital to continue her recovery at home last week.

Retton claimed five medals at the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles and was the first American woman to win Olympic gold in the all-around competition. In her statement Monday, she promised more information on her medical condition as her recovery progresses.

"I'm with family continuing to slowly recover and staying very positive as I know this recovery is a long and slow process," she wrote. "I appreciate everyone's respect of my privacy at this time. When the time is right, I will be sharing more information about my health issues and hope I can help others who may face the same battle as me. I love you all — MLR"

Read more: Mary Lou Retton released from hospital and recovering from pneumonia at home, daughter says

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.