“America’s Got Talent” contestant Kechi Okwuchi shared an emotional message of hope to victims of Hurricane Harvey when she took the stage during Tuesday night’s quarter-finals.
Okwuchi shared her journey to the competition with viewers, revealing that she survived a plane crash in 2005 while still a teenager in high school, Entertainment Tonight reported.
“Hopefully people can look at me and go, ‘This is a fellow human being. She went through this and she came out on the other side.’ Their injuries don’t have to define them,” she said.
During her recovery, families of classmates who did not survive wrote letters to Okwuchi while she underwent several rounds of life-saving surgeries and medical procedures, she said.
“I’ve always felt a responsibility to the people that lost loved ones in that plane crash, and it pushes me to do all the things that I do,” Okwuchi said. “I want to make them proud. I want them to see that this life that was saved that day was not saved in vain.”
Okwuchi chose a fitting for her Tuesday night performance: Katy Perry’s “By the Grace of God.”
The judges showed support for both Okwuchi’s singing and spirit.
“You are important. In these days and ages, people need people like you as an inspiration, and that’s what you’re doing,” Cowell said.
Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on Okwuchi’s hometown after it made landfall in Texas as a Category 4 storm Friday night and caused record flooding in Houston in the days that followed.
Okwuchi said she prays that her performance gave the victims of the storm “something positive to see.”
“I’m not even sure if people in Houston can see this, but I pray that they can… and that they feel something positive and they feel strength,” she said.
(H/T: Entertainment Tonight)