Every year, Margarita Montanez, a grandmother of 12, makes tamales around the holidays. This year, she spent five extra days making over 800 tamales for a group of people who saved her life: healthcare workers of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in southern California. In April, Montanez was in the intensive care unit for coronavirus. After being on a ventilator, she said it was the kind words of the nurses who were holding her hands and giving her strength to pull through. Twenty days after checking into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, she recovered and was released. On December 17, she returned to the hospital with a special treat. "Every year, she makes tamales with lots of love -- that's her secret ingredient -- love," her daughter Cindy describes. "[She made them] for people that may not remember her, but she remembers the medical staff every single day, because of what they did to save her life and the lives of literally thousands of people. So they are our heroes, and they deserve the best tamales in the world, which are my mom's tamales," Cindy said.
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