CHICAGO (CBS) -- There was a happy homecoming Thursday for Claudio Velez, known to many Chicagoans as the Tamale Guy, who was hospitalized on a ventilator for more than a month after getting sick from COVID-19.
Family members and staff at Rush University Medical Center gave a big round of applause for Velez as he was discharged from the hospital on Thursday. He was hospitalized for 35 days.
Velez officially opened Tamale Guy Chicago at Damen and Chicago avenues earlier this month. Donations from loyal customers help him set up shop, but then Velez got COVID-19 and was left on a ventilator in intensive care.
Those loyal customers stepped in again, bringing in nearly $60,000 to help with Velez's medical bills.
His family is just thankful to have him home.
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