This Nigerian plane crash survivor underwent over 100 surgeries and earned a master’s degree against all odds

Abu Mubarik May 24, 2024
Kechi Okwuchi, a survivor of a devastating plane crash in Nigeria. Photo via: Black News

Meet Nigerian-born Kechi Okwuchi; she is a survivor of a plane crash in Nigeria. She shot into the global limelight when she auditioned for season 12 of the popular reality TV show “America’s Got Talent.”

During her audition, she wowed the judges with her singing and inspired many with her remarkable story. She even got a standing ovation from the judges (including Simon Cowell) for her soulful rendition of Ed Sheeran‘s “Thinking Out Loud.” Before captivating the audience with her voice, Okwuchi took a moment to share how her love for singing and deep appreciation for music was formed.

“I was in a plane crash when I was about 16 years old back in Nigeria. It took the lives of 107 out of 109 passengers, and I was one of the two survivors,” Okwuchi said, adding, “Lying down in the hospital bed with bandages from head to foot, music was my escape, and that’s why it means so much to me.”

In 2005, Sosoliso Airlines Flight 1145 carried 109 people from Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, before crashing and bursting into flames while trying to land at Port Harcourt International Airport. It caused the death of 107 out of 109 passengers.

Okwuchi, then a 16-year-old secondary school student, was one of the two surviving passengers, with rescuers managing to pull her out of the burning plane. She suffered from extensive burns.

She went on to receive treatment at Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa, and at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Galveston, Texas, United States. She has endured more than 100 surgeries, including painful skin grafts.

Despite enduring severe burns covering much of her body, she has defied all odds to pursue higher education. In 2015, Kechi graduated from the University of Thomas Houston, Texas with a first-class degree in Economics. She was also inducted into six academic honor societies, earned the award for the “Most Outstanding Student,” and was accepted into the graduate school for her MBA. In addition, she was chosen to give the commencement address at her graduation.

Last year, she successfully earned her Master of Business Administration (MBA) with distinction. She earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Economics from the University of St. Thomas in Texas.

“Look who finally walked!! Meet Kechi Okwuchi, official MBA graduate,” she posted on X, where a lot of people congratulated her. “Thank God and thank you, @stthomashouston.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: May 24, 2024


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