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Tourney matriarch doing well
By KEITH NIEBUHR
Published March 28, 2006
TAMPA - Bertha Saladino's hospitality and home-cooked meals have made her a beloved fixture at the Saladino Tournament.
Now, she's finding out just how much people appreciate her kindness.
Hospitalized at St. Joseph's since Thursday with blood clots in her left leg, Saladino, 74, said Monday by phone she has been overwhelmed by the community's response and has remained in good spirits largely because of it.
Her room is "filled with flowers," and, she estimated, she has seen more than 100 visitors.
"It's been amazing," Saladino said.
Saladino was serving meals Wednesday at the tournament when her leg began to hurt.
By chance, her personal physician was there, inspected the leg and encouraged her to go to the hospital. Saladino missed the final two days of the event.
"It broke my heart not to be there," she said. "But I was very lucky. Especially when they tell me what could have happened."
Saladino, who said she will have more tests done today, remains on blood thinners and has been confined to her bed. The hospital has gone great lengths to make her comfortable, even giving her a private room with two beds so her husband, Tony, can stay near her.