Published Saturday, July 18, 2009 | 1:05 p.m.
Updated Saturday, July 18, 2009 | 1:08 p.m.
Danny Tarkanian left his father’s room in the intensive-care unit of Scripps Memorial Hospital this morning and felt much better about the legendary UNLV basketball coach.
Jerry Tarkanian, who turns 79 next month, underwent 90-minute spinal-cord surgery, to remove a bone spur that was rubbing against his spine, early Friday afternoon.
“Yesterday was the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through in my life,” Danny Tarkanian said this afternoon. “Today is a lot easier. Hopefully, it all comes together and he’s much better soon.”
Jerry Tarkanian’s wife Lois, and Danny and his three siblings make up the dozen immediate family members that have been monitoring the Tarkanian patriarch all week at the La Jolla, Calif., hospital.
“I just left the hospital and he still doesn’t remember a whole lot,” said Danny Tarkanian. “He’s so groggy from all the medication. But the doctors confirmed that it all went well and his vital signs are stabilized.
“He might leave intensive care tomorrow afternoon, but there are no guarantees.”
At his summer home in Pacific Beach, near San Diego, Jerry Tarkanian had two spills last week in which he broke two ribs and a shoulder. He has been experiencing pain when he walks, because of the spinal-cord issue, for years.
The hope, Danny Tarkanian said, is that the pain has been alleviated and his father will be able to walk pain-free again.