Ben Breedlove, a teenager with a dangerous heart condition that brought him close to death three times, finally died on December 25th, Christmas Day, 2011. A few days beforehand, however, he had posted a two-part video on YouTube telling his story and describing a series of near-death experiences.
Ben, from Austin, Texas, suffered from a heart condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy — a disease which makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood properly. Despite this, Ben had a popular YouTube channel — OurAdvice4You — in which he gave relationship advice to peers.
It was in his last 2-part YouTube video, uploaded on December 18, that he left this final message using a series of flash cards to talk about living — and soon dying — with the heart problem. By the time Ben’s parents discovered the videos on Boxing Day, they had already gone viral.
His 19-year-old sister Ally says:
“Ben told us he wanted to go back, of the peace he experienced and how he wanted to go back to that place. And that he was ready. And I personally think he left it for us to find. This was his way of leaving us with something that we would need.”
In the video, 18-year-old Ben describes his previous near-death experiences (NDEs) and the effects they had on him. The first occurred when he was aged just four. Describing that experience, Ben talks about a bright light that brought him peace as he was wheeled on a stretcher through the hospital.
In a more recent experience, he found himself standing in a white room with his favourite rapper, Kid Cudi.
I won’t say too much about the video — it’s just something to be experienced.