Human Interest Grandma Who Survived COVID-19 Delivers 800 Handmade Tamales to Health Care Workers in L.A. Margarita Montañez promised the medical staff at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center that she would bring them tamales for Christmas if she survived COVID-19 By Claudia Harmata Published on December 20, 2020 03:45 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: KTLA 5/Youtube A California grandmother who recovered from COVID-19 thanked the health care workers who treated her with homemade tamales. Margarita Montañez, a grandmother of 12, fell ill with the coronavirus in April and was taken to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where she stayed for 20 days, several of which were spent on a ventilator in the intensive care unit. While at the hospital, Montañez promised the doctors and nurses that if she survived she would bring them handmade tamales for Christmas. On Thursday, she delivered on her promise, bringing 800 tamales that she made over the course of five days. How Stars Are Giving Back This Holiday Season 2020 "People 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 the heroes and they deserve the best tamales in the world which are my mom’s tamales," Montañez's daughter, Cindy, told KTLA. Cindy added that her mother makes the tamales every year "with lots of love," adding, "That’s her secret ingredient." "I appreciate the doctors, the nurse, they helped me. I was in the ICU for four days and I really appreciate it that’s why I did it," Montañez told KTLA. On Dec. 19, L.A. County surpassed 600,000 COVID-19 cases as hospitalizations continued to soar, according to L.A. Public Health. The county reported 60 new deaths and 13,756 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus. As of Dec, 20, over 17,701,500 people in the United States have been infected with the coronavirus since the onset of the pandemic and at least 316,300 have died, according to a New York Times database. As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.