Katy Perry Surprises Orlando Shooting Survivor, We Can't Stop Crying

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Tony Marrero deserves a medal for what he's been through.

Marrero joined his friend, Luis Vielma for Latin night on June 12th at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando when a gunman opened fired and killed 49 people.

Vielma, an employee at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, was among the dead.

Marrero miraculously survived the shooting, despite being shot several times in the back.  Fortunately, none of the bullets hit major organs or his spin.

Marrero was invited by Ellen DeGeneres to share his story on her talk show after seeing photos of him holding up a sign, "I'm Still Swimming, Ellen," a reference to DeGeneres' movie, Finding Dory.

As if the interaction between Marrero and DeGeneres wasn't moving enough, DeGeneres had a surprise in store for him that would send everyone into a glass case of emotion.

The 31-year-old explained that he listened to Katy Perry's anthem, Rise during his recovery. 

"The lyrics to that song are so powerful," he said.  "I play it and play it because it is so beautiful."

DeGeneres, being the beautiful butterfly that she is, asked Marrero if he had met Perry "yet."

No, Marrero humbly answered.

"You wanna meet Katy?"

Marrero froze, and viewers got goosebumps THAT WOULD NOT GO AWAY, because we all knew that DeGeneres had a major life-changing surprise for him.

"Katy!" DeGeneres called off-stage as Marrero had a What is happening right now look on his face.

Perry came on stage with tear-stained eyes, already crying from listening to Marrero tell his story backstage.

The singer and the survivor hugged for a long time, just taking in the moment.

They sat down, and Marrero gave the most heartfelt thanks to Perry.

"I just wanna say thank you for everything you did," he told her as he choked up.

"Your lyrics to that song helped me from the day that I was in the hospital, all the way to now."

Perry was rendered nearly speechless, and DeGeneres interjected with her thoughts on how the power of love and understanding and hope have helped Marrero and others come out of this tragedy on the other side.

"I'm happy I could be there in my own little way to help you," she said.

"I've heard that you're creative just like me," she continued, gearing up to surprise Marrero with something even more wonderful than just a song.

"I personally want to pay for your first year at film school," she said, as Marrero teared up again.

With that, we all collapsed into a pile of tears and hugged whomever or whatever was nearby.

Find out how you can donate to the Pulse Victims Fund.

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Katy Perry Biography

Katy Perry, Blonde Hair Photo
Katy Perry kissed a girl and she liked it, ladies and gentlemen. Or at least she wrote a song with those lyrics. The Californa... More »
Born
Birthplace
Santa Barbara, California
Full Name
Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson