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Former COVID-19 Patient Thanks Hospital With 800 Homemade Tamales

Dec 20, 2020
Originally published on December 20, 2020 10:23 pm

Staff at Cedars-Sinai in LA got a surprise from a former COVID-19 patient last week: 800 homemade tamales. Margarita Montanez spent five days making them as a "thank you" for her care last spring.

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Margerita Montanez was struggling to breathe, and she had a raging fever when her daughter rushed her to LA's Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. She had COVID-19. Montanez spent three weeks in the hospital last spring. This past week, she spent five days in her kitchen making more than 800 tamales. Margerita Montanez told KTLA TV that she wanted to thank the people who saved her life, including the nurses in the ICU who held her hand and spoke to her when she was on a ventilator.

MARGERITA MONTANEZ: I appreciate what the doctors, the nurse - they helped me because I was in the CEU (ph). I really appreciate - that's why I do it.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Her daughter, who helped deliver the pans of tamales, says it's likely the medical staff doesn't remember her mother.

CINDY: She remembers the medical staff every single day because of what they did to save her life and the life of literally thousands of other people. So they are the heroes, and they deserve the best tamales in the world.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Which, of course, she says are her mom's, made with lots and lots of love. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.