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Memorial for doctor who died in Pasco plane crash is rededicated after vandalism

SPRING HILL

Some knew him very well. Others didn't, but have been inspired by his legacy. All came to honor his memory as a doctor who cared deeply for his patients.

On Tuesday morning, 15 people gathered to remember and celebrate the life of Dr. Mohamed-Nagi Hassan Salam-Kadri, who died six and a half years ago in a plane crash.

"I never had the privilege of knowing him, but I carry on a lot of the work based on his inspiration and spirit of living," said Ramzy Kilic, communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Tampa.

Dr. Kadri, 49, served as medical director for Brooksville Healthcare and had hospital privileges at hospitals in both Pasco and Hernando counties.

On the evening of March 16, 2004, Dr. Kadri took off from Hernando County Airport and trouble began with his Cessna almost immediately.

A witness said the plane's engine whined and sounded strained before it went down in north central Pasco County, a mile southeast of U.S. 41 and Bowman Road.

A year later, in March 2005, friends and family gathered for a memorial just off State Road 50, near Kadri Boulevard, a road named after the physician. They planted a tree, and a plaque was placed in the ground.

Some time during the weekend of Sept. 11, 2010, the original plaque disappeared and the tree was damaged, leaving it leaning.

At the rededication event Tuesday, Dr. Fawzi Soliman stepped forward and straightened the tree.

"He was a good friend," Soliman said, remembering the doctor. "His life was too short."

A new plaque was placed in the ground.

Under a cloudless blue sky, the ceremony focused on peace and community.

"I didn't know him, but I feel inspired by him," said Dr. Rashid Saba. "I don't believe in hate. (Dr. Kadri) seemed to share some of the same beliefs I have."

Lisa-Ann Putino served as Kadri's office manager for four years.

"He loved his patients and his patients love him," Putino said. "If a patient didn't have the funds, he would give me the money from his pocket to go get what they needed."

Dr. Adel Eldin led the group in a universal prayer. "Please keep our hearts united," he said.

By the afternoon, as cars whizzed by unaware, a new plaque shone in the sun: "In loving memory of Nagi Kadri, MD."

The tree stood upright.

Reach Shary Lyssy Marshall at slmarshall.sptimes@gmail.com.

Memorial for doctor who died in Pasco plane crash is rededicated after vandalism 11/09/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 9, 2010 8:27pm]
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