COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Way back when things were normal, you could listen to KaTanya Ingram in the Short North, delighting crowds attending the Gallery Hop.
The COVID-19 pandemic, in a strange way, has been a blessing for the singer, who admits she’s lucky to be alive.
Ingram said because of her performing, she feels like the street is a second home.
“Because that’s my passion,” she said. “I absolutely love being a street performer.”
For the last decade, Ingram has been a street fixture in the Short North performing at the Gallery Hop.
Five years ago, she could have died on the street. Just before getting in her car, she had a Grand Mal seizure.
“I didn’t know I had any kind of seizure until I woke up in the back of an ambulance,” she recalls.
The seizures, although minor, kept happening and she managed with medication. She lost her corporate communications job. Then concerts and events got cancelled, so she pivoted back to the streets.
“COVID, for some, was a curse, but for some, it was kind of a blessing,” she said positively.
She did sidewalk serenades. Socially distant celebrations.
But those 90-second absence seizures continued a couple of times a week. In January, she went to the Cleveland Clinic for a brain test that nearly proved fatal.
“They hit a blood vessel in me and that caused a subdermal hematoma,” which she said led to doctors operating for more than six hours.
Two run-ins with mortality have left her feeling, well…
“Whenever I see a new ‘Blessed’ (decoration), I go out and get it,” Ingram said. “It’s a constant reminder of how blessed I am.”
She landed a new job that starts in April. And doctor’s orders give her permission to open the lungs and let loose again at the end of March.
“Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach, you gave me faith ’cause I believed,” she sings.
Blessed to be back on the streets..
“and I’m everything I am because you loved me.”