October 05, 2017 04:05 PM

When Zully Hernandez, a Las Vegas-based nurse, was on a plane to visit The Ellen Show in Los Angeles, tragedy struck her home city: A lone gunman opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest music festival from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. In the worst shooting in American history, 58 lives were lost and 489 others were injured. Via text, her friend and fellow nurse informed her that their hospital was calling the entire medical staff for assistance. Hernandez wished she could be there to help.

Ellen DeGeneres gave her that opportunity when she invited her on stage and asked how people could support the victims of the mass shooting. “We need blood desperately,” Hernandez said. “My girlfriend called me this morning and said, ‘You’d be so overwhelmed with how much everybody is coming to help.”

Recounting the good deeds of local residents, Hernandez got weepy and expressed sadness that it takes a tragedy to see everyone’s humanity: “It sucks that it takes something like this for people to have the courage to go do something good for other people,” she told the talk show host.

Watch the interview below:

When Hernandez revealed that she has family members who were affected by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and wasn’t able to wire them the money they need, DeGeneres, true to form, offered her assistance: “We’ll make sure we know who your cousin is because Ricky Martin is there now and we sent someone with him and we’re taking care of a lot of things right now,” she assured Hernandez.

DeGeneres capped the interview with a sweet surprise: “This is the time you want your family with you,” she said, hinting at her gift, “when things are happening like this.” Moments later, Hernandez’s husband, who works construction in Northern California and her son, a college student in Florida, entered the stage with flowers.

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