Kechi Okwuchi is preparing for her second appearance on the U.S. talent competition America’s Got Talent after an impressive signing performance on her first appearance last week. Okwuchi amazed the judges with her rendition of Ed Sheeran’s pop hit “Thinking Out Loud”, but was even more impressive when she shared her story.
The Nigerian woman, now 26 years old, still has visible burns from a tragic accident in 2005, when she was aboard the 2005 Sosoliso Airlines flight that crashed and killed 107 people. Okwuchi and one other person were the only survivors from the tragedy. After the accident, she had to undergo several surgeries to repair third degree burns, which affected almost two thirds of her body. When talking about the experience on Twitter, she explained that she has to use a special skin lubricant to ease itching issues, and that her skin is still very sensitive to sunlight and general heat. She also says, “God has gracefully provided me with solutions to my many problems.” She also talked about how singing helps her to keep her spirits up, and that shows in her recent America’s Got Talent appearance.
Since that accident, she has lived a mostly normal life, graduating from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, USA. She earned a BBA in Economics, finished near the top of her class and even received the privilege of giving the commencement speech. Since graduating, she’s been working with a non-profit organization in Houston, Texas, and is working towards a position with the United Nations, the World Bank or the World Health Organization. She is also raising money via a Gofundme campaign towards her pursuit of a Master’s degree; at last check, she is $6,000 shy of her $36,000 goal.