Getting to the stage of America’s Got Talent was the easy part of Kechi Okwuchi’s journey.
Her performance of Ed Sheeran’s 2014 single “Thinking Out Loud” on Tuesday night’s episode had the judges on their feet as they celebrated a voice they will definitely be keeping an ear out for this season.
But it was her heartbreaking story that really caught everyone’s attention.
When Kechi was just 16-years-old she was on board the 2005 Sosoliso Airlines Flight 1145 which crashed over Nigeria, claiming the lives of 107 passengers. She was just 1 of 2 survivors.
Continue to the next page to see how she recovered and her performance on AGT.
“Fifteen minutes to the end of the flight, the pilot announced that we were soon to land in the Port Harcourt airport. I remember I was sitting in an aisle seat, and my close friend Toke was on the aisle seat to my right,” she said. “Everything was so surreal in that moment. I turned to Toke and we held hands, and I was like ‘Maybe we should pray?’ Before we could even start, there was this sudden shrill sound ringing in my ears, and next thing I knew, I was waking up in Milpark Hospital, South Africa. To this day I don’t remember the actual impact of the crash,” she wrote.
2 years later, Kechi and her family moved to Houston to continue medical treatments for her severe burns. She has gone through over 100 surgeries due to the burns she endured on over 65 of her body.
Music has been her therapy.
“Lying in the hospital bed with bandages from head to foot. Not being able to more or do anything else, music was my escape. And that’s why it means so much to me,” Okwuchi told the AGT judges.
She did not let her devastating accident stop her from living a normal life.
In 2015, Kechi graduated top of her class from the University of St. Thomas, America with a BBA in Economics, where she delivered the commencement speech.
Since her graduation she has worked with a non-profit organization in Houston with a goal to work with either the United Nations, the World Bank or the World Health Organization. She also desires to obtain her Masters degree in the future.
Now the 27-year-old is able to look forward to the next round of the competition as she received a resounding “Yes” from all 4 judges.
Watch her performance and you will how much she deserves the standing ovation that she got at the end of the performance.
What do you think?