Almost 3 months after 49 people were killed at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, Ellen Degeneres and a certain pop star gave one survivor of the shooting an unforgettable moment of happiness.
This morning’s episode of “Ellen” featured guest Tony Marrero, who was at Pulse with his friend Luis Vielma, a co-worker at Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter, when gunman Omar Mateen began shooting.
Despite being shot 4 times in the back, Marrero survived. His best friend Vielma was shot dead.
Marrero told Degeneres that he listened to Katy Perry’s single “Rise” on repeat while he was recovering in the hospital.
“The lyrics to that song are so powerful. Every word in that song is just powerful,” he said. “So I embraced it.”
In fact, Marrero said he listened to the song so many times that his boyfriend got sick of it.
That’s when Ellen revealed the surprise to Marreo: the pop superstar was in the building, and wanted to meet him.
Perry and Marrero both fought back tears while discussing how each of their stories inspired one another.
“I just want to say thank you for everything you do,” said Marrero. “Your lyrics to that song helped me, from the day I was in the hospital, all the way to now.”
Perry said she wasn’t sure how she was going to make it through the show without crying.
“Your story is so inspirational,” she said. “I’m happy I could be there in my own little way to help you.”
Sit down, grab some tissues, and watch the whole thing.