Texas Teenager Touches Thousands Through YouTube

Ben Breedlove wasn't expected to live past his early teens

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Texas teenager who died on Christmas Day of a congenital heart condition continues to touch thousands of people around the world through YouTube.

    Ben Breedlove, a senior at Austin's Westlake High School, made a name for himself with his own BreedloveTV channel on YouTube full of videos offering advice on dating.

    Ben Breedlove's Last Words

    [DFW] Ben Breedlove's Last Words
    Texas teenager Ben Breedlove, who died on Christmas Day of a congenital heart condition is touching thousands of people around the world with a YouTube video posted a week before his death. (Published Thursday, Dec 29, 2011)

    "Girls from France and Australia and Germany and Russia would message him and ask him for advice," said Breedlove's sister Ally. "Girls in town would treat him like a celebrity. Anytime they saw him at IHOP or the movies, they'd want to take pictures with him."

    Breedlove also spoke candidly about the heart condition he was born with, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

    "The doctors said since he was young that he would not make it past his young teen years, and he beat that," said Breedlove's father Shawn.

    On Christmas Day, at age 18, Breedlove's heart gave out.

    "We woke up really early at eight o'clock, and opened presents, and played a game of Monopoly that Ben won," said Ally Breedlove. "And when he laid down outside he was using his new video camera out there with Jake, and it was a really good Christmas. And we realized that Ben got the best Christmas gift out of all of us. He got the gift that everyone is gonna get some day."

    After his death, his family found two videos Breedlove posted a week before Christmas. On white cards he tells the story of his life and battle with his heart condition.

    Without a word he chronicles cheating death three times, once at the age of four, once during tonsil surgery and once just weeks before Christmas when he passed out at school. The cards detail his near death experience and a vision he had as paramedics were reviving him at school.

    Breedlove said he was standing in a white room, wearing a really nice suit with his favorite rapper, Kid Cudi. He said he was looking into a mirror, smiling and proud of himself and his life. He said he wished he never woke up.

    The video ends with two white cards; The first reads "Do you believe in Angels or God?" followed by another card that simply says "I Do."

    "I just think Ben opened a door for a lot of people to think about something that maybe they've never thought about before, and that to me is a wonderful gift," said Breedlove's mother Deanne.

    Rapper Kid Cudi reacted to being mentioned in Breedlove's vision on his Tumblr page (find Kid Cudi's Tumblr page here, warning explicit language):

    "I am so sad about Ben Breedlove. I watched the video he left for the world to see, and him seeing me in detail, in his vision really warmed my heart...  I know Ben is at Peace, and I hope he gets a chance to sit and talk with my Dad. We love you Ben. Forever. Thank you for loving me. To Ben’s family, you raised a real hero, he’s definately mine. You have my love."

    -Scott Mescudi

    More: BreedloveTV on YouTube

    KXAN Reporter Erin Cargile contributed to this report.