Tony Marrero was shot five times the night of the Pulse nightclub shooting, and lost his best friend Luis in the battle. His friend Luis wasn't gay, but wanted to go to the club for a good time with his friend, so Marrero went with him.
As they were leaving, gunshots rang out. They looked at each other and dropped to the ground, and that was the last time Tony saw his friend. Tony was rushed to the hospital with four shots to the back and one to the arm. He died actually flat-lined on the way to the hospital, but was lucky enough to survive and has fully recovered.
While he was in recovery, Tony Marrero listened to Katy Perry's song, "Rise", over and over. The lyrics to the song empowered him to get better.
"I won't just surviveOh, you will see me thriveCan't write my storyI'm beyond the archetype"
While in the hospital, Marrero sent a picture of himself with a sign featuring Ellen's character, Dory, to the show saying he just wanted to shake her hand.
Ellen caught wind of it and invited Marrero on the show to tell his story. Little did he know, DeGeneres had also planned a huge surprise for him. Katy Perry was backstage waiting to meet him! The two shared a tearful embrace, overcome with emotion.
Watch the video. Katy Perry not only meets Marrero, but she also gives him a life-changing gift.