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Good News You May Have Missed in 2020

Good news out of Cedars-Sinai in 2020

2021 has arrived, and with it a new wave of hopefulness as several COVID-19 vaccines roll out to provide a light at the end of the tunnel. While the last year has brought many challenges that touched the lives of everybody worldwide, we wanted to take a look back at a few of the bright spots that made us smile and reminded us of the amazing Cedars-Sinai community we have. Here's what you may have missed.

Nurse Greg Sings to His Neighbors

In April 2020, while we were still in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cedars-Sinai Emergency Department nurse educator Gregory Eichelzer awoke to an encouraging note from a neighbor thanking him for what he does every day at work. Inspired by the act of kindness, Gregory put on a mini-concert for his neighbors with a rendition of Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up" with his neighbors.

Hip Replacement Patient Can Dance Again

In June 2020, Jeanie was on her way to meet Dr. Sean Rajaee for her hip replacement at Cedars-Sinai, determined to solve her pain issues and get back to what she loved doing—dancing. Public demonstrations from Black Lives Matter supporters created traffic around the hospital, but Jeanie was determined to get to her appointment. She jumped out of the car and asked a stranger in the marching crowd to stop the traffic flow so she could get to her surgery and walk in a future protest. She made it through, had her surgery a few weeks later and is back to dancing on TikTok.

Heart Transplant Patient Sings Duet With Doctor

When heart transplant patient Sean Tiwanak picked up his ukulele to sing a duet in his Cedars-Sinai hospital room with Dr. Lily Stern in August 2020, he had no idea that the song would reach millions of hearts worldwide. Audiences in dozens of countries had tears in their eyes as the beautiful duet brought a moment of true joy and connection. Sean also got another happy ending when—just two days later—he received his lifesaving heart transplant.

NICU Halloween Costumes Bring Smiles

For 22 years, Dorothy Williams has been hand-sewing custom Halloween costumes for the tiniest patients at Cedars-Sinai—NICU babies. Former employee Dorothy was also a NICU mom to twins, and she was inspired by the kindness of a nurse who had left a holiday message to cheer her up when her babies were in their incubator. Now, she shares her sewing creations to help bring smiles in the NICU. "I discovered fairly early on that this not only made a difference to families, but it was also making a difference for the staff. It was giving them a joyful day," she says.

Grateful Grandma Donates 800 Tamales

After spending three weeks at Cedars-Sinai in April 2020 battling COVID-19, grandmother of 12 Margarita Montanez made a recovery and returned back to her life. She wanted to thank the healthcare heroes that saved her life in a unique way—by making and dropping off 800 tamales to help feed the staff as they battled another surge of COVID-19 patients. "I appreciate the doctors and nurses who helped me when I was in the ICU for four days," she says.