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Billie Eilish music helped her in the ICU, then the quadriplegic teen got to meet her in person

Jen Leitch was in a car accident just two months before her 15th birthday in 2019 that left her a quadriplegic and without a voice after damaging her trachea and losing a lung.

She told CTV News that while recovering in the intensive care unit, the only time she was awake was when her music therapist would come into the room.

"We would watch Billie [Eilish] on her iPad," said Leitch, now 18. "Once I was strong enough to [talk again], we made some recordings of me singing Billie's music."

She dreamed for years of meeting the pop star, and it finally happened earlier this month.

On Aug. 5, Leitch met Eilish at the Osheaga music festival in Montreal.

"It was absolutely insane," said Leitch. "It was crazy to finally meet somebody who got me through the hardest part of my life."

Leitch has been a fan since hearing her 2016 single "Ocean Eyes" and thinking, "This woman's voice is insane."

Between tears, Leitch told Eilish that her song "The 30th" meant a lot to her.

"She was so sweet," said Leitch. "She's exactly how you think you would picture her. She's funny, she's caring and passionate, and you can tell she truly is so special."

The superfan from Muncey, Ont. had no idea she would actually meet the 21-year-old superstar singer-songwriter, but her mother contacted Eilish's manager with the help of Evenko director general Nathalie Roberge and made it happen.

"They took us to 'artists' world,' so I was like, 'weird. What's going on?' Then Billie's manager came up and introduced himself, and I was like, 'Oh my goodness! You're kidding me,'" said Leitch. "This all was like literally a dream come true."

Leitch also met English singer-songwriter Tom Odell and ran into Fletcher in the crowd.

"It was also insane," she said. 

Billie Eilish performs on the Pyramid main stage at Glastonbury Festival, in Worthy Farm, Somerset, England, Friday, June 24, 2022. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)

Meeting the Grammy, American Music, Academy, and other awards-winner Eilish was a testament to Leitch's passion for Eilish's music and determination to make it happen.

Leitch originally contacted the Make-a-Wish Foundation when she was in the ICU in 2019. She wasn't able to arrange anything at the time but reconnected with the organization this year.

Originally, she asked to meet Eilish and was offered a short video message.

Leitch then proposed going to Coachella and was on her way when medical issues halted her trip.

"We made it through our first flight to Minnesota, but on the flight, I had medical complications the whole time," she said. "My friends had to lift me out of my seat, and I had to spend the whole time lying on the ground."

She was removed from the plane and taken to the hospital.

"We ended up having to drive home, so we didn't make it," she said.

Not one to be deterred, Leitch decided to make the seven-and-change-hour drive to Montreal this summer.

"Everything fell into place," she said. "She is a massive part of my life, so to be finally able to meet her and talk to her and just experience her presence was crazy." 

Jen Leitch, 18, was able to meet her hero Billie Eilish at Montreal's Osheaga music festival in August. The quadriplegic was in a car accident in 2019 that damaged her trachea. When she found her voice again, she would sing Eilish's songs in the hospital. SOURCE: Benoit Rousseau Top Stories


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