Mary Lou Retton sounds surprised to be here. The 1984 Olympic gymnast just sent her first message to fans after a month-long health battle that nearly killed her.

Taking to social media Retton, 55, leads with gratitude.

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

  • Retton's daughters first revealed her mother had been hospitalized and was in the ICU battling a rare form of pneumonia.
  • They'd later offer a pair of updates before announcing she was coming home last week.
  • Retton does not have health insurance.
Mary Lou Retton Displaying Gold Medal
Bettmann Archive

"I'm with family continuing to slowly recover and staying very positive as I know this recovery is a long and slow process," the statement reads. I appreciate everyone's respect of my privacy at this time."

As for the details of her illness, Retton remains quiet.

"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," she says in closing. "I love you all."

The former gymnast's own daughters were vague about her diagnosis and prognosis throughout October, preferring to only speak to her mom's general condition. Since winning gold in all-around gymnastics at the L.A. summer games in the '80s, Retton has been a popular spokesperson, guest speaker and contestant on shows like ABC's Dancing With the Stars.

Her lack of health insurance stunned fans, but didn't stop people from helping meeting a goal of $50,000 on Spotfund. In fact, the fundraising effort is nearing $460,000.

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