Wife of Costa Mesa High coach Jimmy Nolan involved in deadly collision wakes up from surgery

Coach Jimmy Nolan, center, gives instructions during football practice at Costa Mesa High School on Aug. 26, 2019.
Coach Jimmy Nolan, center, gives instructions during football practice at Costa Mesa High School on Aug. 26, 2019.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Costa Mesa High School football coach Jimmy Nolan indicated late last week that the frequency of Facebook updates regarding his family’s condition would slow down until he witnessed a “small victory.”

Some good news came Tuesday morning, as Nolan posted that his wife, Taran, smiled when he kissed her after she made it through tracheostomy surgery the night before.

Taran and three of the Nolan family’s four children were involved in a head-on collision in South Carolina on Sept. 10 that killed their youngest daughter, Micki, and the driver of the other car, Glendora Holmes. The Nolan family’s other two children, Jimmy Jr. and Daisy, survived the crash.

“7pm was told surgery was approaching (that could mean 7:15pm or 1am) ... gave Tar kiss and went to neuro icu lobby,” Nolan said on Facebook. “Did some pacing.”

Nolan wrote that he waited for six hours before checking on his wife and finding out that she had made it through the operation. She is being treated at a South Carolina hospital.

“Tar was heavily sedated,” Nolan added in the post. “I left to lobby, so I wouldn’t get in their way. Paced until I thought her meds might wear off.”

The next time he dropped in to see how his wife was doing, Nolan got a pleasant surprise at last.

“Went back in about 4:15am, with a bad feeling...she was out,” Nolan wrote. “I leaned over to give her a real light kiss (not to wake her) ~ Her eyes immediately popped wide open and she smiled! I honestly thought I was having a heart attack. Horrible day or two turned beautiful...wife is life. We got this. VICTORY.”

As of last Friday, Nolan said on Facebook that his wife had been on a ventilator and unable to breathe on her own for eight days.

“After 15 days, still can’t move anything upper/lower body,” Nolan said in the post. “Docs performing tracheostomy tomorrow or Sunday. Then spinal cord surgery once swelling goes down. She won’t need any more surgeries on her feet.”

A GoFundMe account for the Nolan family has raised more than $350,000. There is also a GoFundMe page for the family of Holmes.

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