By: Rebecca Stephens
Get your tissue box ready. You’re in for the emotional ride of a lifetime after watching this passionate American Idol performance from 17 year old, Shayla Winn.
A little over a year ago, Shayy became legally blind after being diagnosed with hydrocephalus (fluid in the brain). Once her optic nerves swelled up, doctors discovered that she had a tumor in her head. After a surgery to remove 50% of the tumor, doctors found that they would have to perform open cranial surgery to remove the rest. Due to the severity of the procedure, Shayy’s doctors have categorized her as a “question mark.”
The Thomas Dale High School senior, not only amazed the judges with her story, but continued to stun them with her cover of Andra Day’s, “Rise Up.” A cover that immediately brought all three judges to tears, especially Lionel Richie. The teary-eyed judge told the young woman, “You have wrecked me.” Katy Perry said it best, “For me, you’re not a question mark.” With that, the judges unanimously gave Shayy a golden ticket to Hollywood for the next round.
In an ABC 8 News interview, Shayy’s inspiring message went straight to the heart. “Don’t let anything stop you from doing what you love and what you dream to do.”
American Idol airs Sundays at 8 p.m. EST, with five additional Monday night episodes starting March 18.