Shawn and Deanne Breedlove gave birth to a beautiful baby boy on August 8, 1993. After naming their knight in shining armor, Ben, they quickly learned that Ben was born with a heart defect, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
With no cure, the Breedlove family decided they wanted Ben to live his life to the best of his ability. With an older sister and eventually a younger brother, Ben became a social butterfly, extremely active, and always seemed to have an aura of gratitude about him.
Throughout the years, he suffered three cardiac arrests, and upon being revitalized, told his family of beautiful visions he had of being in a self-described “Heaven’s waiting room.” Notwithstanding the immense peace he felt after each spiritual experience, he had moments where we feared death.
Ben found ways to stay motivated, find his purpose on earth, and make the most of his relationships. In 2010, Ben started a YouTube channel and quickly gained subscribers. His channel gave glimpses into his personality and even offered relationship advice at times.
On Christmas day, 2011, Ben went into cardiac arrest and passed away at age 18. More than 1,400 people attended his funeral and 11,000 more watched it online via live stream. Shawn and Deanne were heartbroken and trying to mourn the best they knew how.
The couple turned to God for comfort. Just days after, Ben’s friends asked what they thought about “the video.” Confused, they asked, “What video.” That’s when they found out that Ben had made a video describing his life and condition that went viral with millions of views in just days.
Ben had posted the video in two parts just one week before he died.
Ben’s story has reached millions, some of which go back on and rewatch the videos he posted each year on the anniversary of his death. Ben’s message and example have inspired many, and today, his parents are grateful for each moment they had with their son.
Watch as Ben’s parent’s and sister share their thoughts on Ben and his videos.