Tony Marrero lost a friend during the Orlando shooting. He himself was shot four times in the attack at Pulse nightclub and, miraculously, survived. The aftermath was tough, of course, as Marrero recounted to Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show Thursday. He told Ellen that the words to Katy Perry's song "Rise" helped strengthen him during his recovery. "The lyrics to that song are so powerful, every word in that song is powerful, so I embraced it," he explained. Little did he know that Katy Perry herself was waiting backstage.
The pop star walked out, and the disbelief was all over Marrero's face. Perry and Marrero were both so overcome with emotion that they sobbed into each other's arms. "We're both electrified by each other. It's so inspired," Perry said. "Your lyrics to that song helped me from the day that I was in the hospital all the way to now," said Marrero.
Perry wasn't done helping the survivor. She told Marrero she wanted to pay for his first year of film school. "I heard that you're a creative just like me, and you have dreams, and you want to go out there and do good and fulfill them," she said. What an incredible gesture — and a beautiful moment. Grab a tissue and watch the sob scene in full — and in a few years, be on the look out for Tony Marrero's name in film credits.