KNOXVILLE - For some, music is an escape, but for Mandy Harvey it rescued her.
"Music is an expression of the soul, and for me it's always been the way I could communicate,” said Harvey.
The Florida native took her voice to America’s Got Talent, impressing the judges and crowd with a perfect pitch.
She even received the coveted “golden buzzer” by judge Simon Cowell. But the cheers and applause, Harvey can't hear.
“The only way I felt comfortable expressing myself was through music which is why I think it hit me so hard when I lost my hearing, I stopped doing music and felt like I lost my identity,” said Harvey.
In high school, she learned she had a connective tissue disorder that affected her hearing. The months following were depressing.
"I started testing myself, clapping as loud as I could to hear myself, that I would bruise my bones,” said Harvey.
Soon, she got involved in the deaf community, and almost a year later music worked itself back into her life.
"My dad asked me to play guitar with him, and it was the start of something beautiful,” described Harvey. “Coming back to music it was another way of finding yourself again, expressing myself.”
She can't hear it, but Mandy has found a way to feel it, often going barefoot on stage.
"It's like a ghost, you feel a lot like the rhythm through the floor the base hitting you thru the chest, you feel yourself as you sing, that sound moving up and down your neck, the tickle in your nasal cavity,” said Harvey.
Now 29-years-old, she still struggles with bodily pain, but travels, sharing her gift with others.
"I want to encourage other people to see the barriers in their life and crush them,” said Harvey. “Who cares if you fail it’s a beautiful way to learn about yourself and do something someone else says it’s impossible, it’s only impossible because it hasn't happened yet.”
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