Tony Marrero is one of the survivors of the tragic Orlando shooting incident. He recounted the incident when he recently appeared as a guest in The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Marrero attended Pulse nightclub on the evening of the shooting — the deadliest attack in the U.S. since 9/11 — with his best friend and co-worker, Luis Vielma, who unfortunately did not survive. Marrero was shot four times in the back and once in the arm but miraculously survived without being hit in any vital organs.
He shared how Katy Perry’s music helped him find strength in going through the difficult experience. As he shared to Ellen the impact of Katy Perry’s Song “Rise” in his recovery process, the pop singer walked on stage teary-eyed and surprised Marrero. They shared an emotional hug and both talked about how they are both inspired by each other.
The emotional pop singer told Marrero, “I don’t know how I’m going to get through this. Your story is so inspirational.”
Marrero told Katy, “I just want to say thank you for everything you do. Your lyrics to that song helped me from the day that I was in the hospital all the way to now. You’re amazing.”
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The pop singer responded and told Marrero, “I’m happy to be a joy, I’m happy to be a light, I’m happy I could be there in my own little way to help you.”
The pop singer gave Marrero another surprise. She told him, “I heard that you’re creative just like me and you have dreams and you want to go out there and do good and fulfill them.”
She continued, “I heard that you want to go to film school so I personally want to pay for your first year at film school.”
Katy Perry’s kind gesture and compassion for her fan is heartwarming, and she continues to inspire others through the power of her music.