Short legs, one arm, and a malformed hand: no matter, he was there to sing

People who were born without all their limbs are not necessarily lacking in determination. In fact, if they have goals they want to achieve, they may have to supply even more determination than a “normal” person would. One determined young man is Emmanuel Kelly. He has abnormally short legs and only one arm with a malformed hand, but this didn’t stop him from going before a huge audience and giving it his all.

The huge audience came courtesy the Australian version of the immensely popular talent-spotting show “The X Factor.” When he came on stage, one of the judges asked Emmanuel how old he was. His reply stunned the judges and the audience. “I’m not exactly sure. When I was originally found in Iraq, in an orphanage, my mum found me, I was born with no birth certificate, no passport, nothing.” He and his brother (who has short legs and no arms) were found in a shoe box near a park and rescued by a nun. 

At the orphanage, they could hear the frightening and confusing sounds of warfare outside. When their future adoptive mom appeared, Emmanuel remembered her as being like an angel. She took both boys to Australia for surgery and ended up adopting them. As soon as you hear Emmanuel speak, you can tell he’s become an Aussie through and through.

Emmanuel’s dream has always been to become a professional singer. And who knows, he may be on his way, based on his performance of John Lennon’s “Imagine.” The show’s judges and the audience were clearly moved, as were his mom, brother, and other relatives off-stage. As one judge put it, “I don’t think I’ve ever, ever been moved as much as I was from that performance. That was magnificent. Your courage, your bravery is unbelievable.”