Katy Perry made a fan’s dreams come true in more way than one with a little help from the Ellen Degeneres Show.
Tony Marrero isn’t just a Katy Perry fan, but he’s also a survivor of the horrific Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando.
via Pop Crush:
Tony Marrero, a 30-year-old Wizarding World of Harry Potter employee, recalled his memory of the night to Degeneres, and said it all began when he got a call from his friend Luis. Luis was straight, but wanted to check out the gay club’s Latin night, and Marrero said the pair of best friends finally decided to stop by. They had a great time, and when the bartender alerted patrons to last call, Marrero and Luis — neither of whom drank — got up to leave.
That’s when gunfire rang out. Marrero was shot four times in the back and once in the arm, but said he remembered an instinct to protect his head under a couch. Then, when the gunman advanced beyond him, he managed to crawl to the door and get help from police. He was technically dead for a time en route to the hospital.
Luis and 48 others were killed.
Marrero credited Perry’s “Rise” with helping him get through his hospital stay, and jokingly said he played it to the point of his boyfriend’s annoyance.
“Have you met Katy yet?” Degeneres asked. “You wanna meet Katy?”
That’s when Katy came out and surprised Tony.
“I just want to say thank you for everything you do,” Tony said to Katy. “Your lyrics to [“Rise”] helped me from the day I was in the hospital all the way until now. You’re amazing.”
“We’re both electrified by each other and so inspired,” Katy responded. “We’re both lights.”
“Life isn’t easy and you need little reliefs, through songs, quite possibly,” she added. “I’m happy to be a joy, I’m happy to be a light and I’m happy I could be there in my own little way to help you.”
Her help didn’t stop there — Katy also volunteered to pay for Tony’s first year at film school.
Click play on the clip below and be prepared to cry.