“I am overwhelmed with the love and support from the world as I fight,” Retton, 55, said in an Instagram post. “I am forever grateful to you all! I’m with family continuing to slowly recover and staying very positive as I know this recovery is a long and slow process.”
The family last week said Retton had been released from the hospital. The former gymnast had a rare form of pneumonia that made her unable to breathe on her own and left her fighting for her life. She is now recovering at home after weeks in the hospital.
“I’m beyond blessed to have the opportunity to make this statement,” Retton wrote.
One of the athlete’s children started an online fundraiser on behalf of Retton’s four daughters to help support the medical costs, noting Retton is uninsured.
Retton captured American hearts in 1984 when she was the first US gymnast to win the Olympic gymanastics all-around competition.
Retton was dubbed “America’s Sweetheart” after winning five medals during the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. She parlayed that into appearances in movies, TV shows, ads and on the front of boxes of Wheaties. She was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1997.
She asked for privacy in her post Monday.
“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,” Retton wrote. “I love you all.”
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