CINCINNATI -- The young, local woman in declining health who recently got her wish to chat with Taylor Swift granted has passed away, according to a message her father Dan Hils -- a Cincinnati police officer and police union president -- posted to Facebook Friday morning.
Meghan Hils, an 18-year-old with a bob cut and a bright, infectious smile, had lived with chronic health problems from an early age, Hils wrote. She received multiple open heart surgeries as a child, and in recent weeks, her health had declined rapidly.
Rest in heaven sweet angel! Sending deepest condolences to FOP Prez Hils & Hils family on loss of daughter Meghan. pic.twitter.com/dGKXcqENnf
— Cincinnati Police (@CincinnatiPD) September 16, 2016
“The words thank you will never be enough to say to Taylor Alison Swift for this day and taking the time to video chat with me for 29 minutes on September 8th, 2016,” Meghan wrote on Facebook. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Taylor."
Brooke Pohlman, a senior at Seton High School, grew up with Meghan. Brooke said Meghan was so excited to speak with Taylor Swift.
“I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more than her,” Brooke said. “It was her wish come true.”
She said despite her poor health, Meghan was always optimistic, and she is grateful to have known her.
“I know everyone is going to miss her – my family and the whole West Side community knew her and her story and I know everybody is going to miss her,” Brooke said. “She impacted my life in so many ways, and I’m so grateful I got to know someone like her.”
Brooke’s mother, Christy Pohlman, grew up with Meghan’s mother.
Christy said Meghan’s spirit is an inspiration.
“She dealt with her problem better than anybody I’ve ever met,” Christy said. “She did more in her 18 years here than most people do in their whole life.”
"Meghan's oxygen needs have become so great that leaving the house is becoming very difficult,” Cincinnati police sergeant and Fraternal Order of Police lodge president Dan Hils wrote on Facebook. "The hospice doctors have increased her pain medication substantially.”
As a 4-year-old, according to Hils, Meghan had a request granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation: she met Loonette, the clown host of PBS’s children’s show The Big Comfy Couch. Later, her father wrote, she would joke that her parents had messed up, since her memories of meeting Loonette faded and pop culture supplied a steady stream of teen heartthrobs she wished she could meet, too.
On her 18th birthday in March, Meghan became eligible for a wish through the Dream Foundation, a group that grants wishes for terminally ill adults.
“You can list two possible wishes,” Hils wrote. "Meghan wanted a phone call or a video chat with Taylor Swift, but reasoned that she is so popular currently there would be little if any chance of her being reached.”
Instead, Meghan requested a call or video chat with Ellen Degeneres or Jimmy Fallon, two popular talk show hosts whose shows she tapes daily, according to Hils. Still, with her health worsening at a pace that worried her family and friends, Hils worried that the Dream Foundation would not be able to fulfill his daughter’s request in time.
So he posted photos on Facebook and asked anyone who read the post to share, hoping that the power of the internet would carry Meghan’s wishes to their intended recipients.
More than 2,000 shares and just three days later, Meghan got the call -- not from either of the TV hosts, but from the pop star she had assumed would be completely out of reach.
Swift’s camp requested that the family keep her conversation with Meghan private, according to Hils -- no recordings, no photographs of Swift, just a chat between the star and the girl who had wanted so badly to talk to her. The pair talked for about half an hour.