Ben Breedlove, 18 years old, passed away on Christmas day from his heart condition hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Ben had made a two part YouTube video on December 18, 2011 sharing his story about his experience with HCM on index cards.
Ben Breedlove’s YouTube video has since gone viral and has almost 1.5 million views.
Ben Breedlove’s YouTube video explains his life with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. He starts off by writing, “All my life, I’ve had a heart condition.” “(HCM) short for Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.” “It’s a very serious and dangerous condition.” “As I grew older I learned more that it is dangerous.” “It has scared me a lot, and I hate that feeling.”
He then starts to talk about how he has cheated death many times, the first time was when he was four years old. He writes, “The first time I cheated death was when I was 4.” “I had a life threatening seizure. Scary right?” “My blood sugar dropped to 14.”
He says there is one thing that he won’t forget about that day even though he doesn’t recall much from it and that is, “I was being wheeled down this hall on a stretcher.” “The two nurses that were pushing it, and my mom running along side.” “There was this big bright light above me.” “I told my mom, ‘Look at the bright light!’ and pointed up.” “She said she didn’t see anything.” “I will NEVER forget that feeling or that day.”
Rapper Kid Cudi opened up to his fans via Tumblr and revealed how much Ben Breedlove’s video touched his heart. He was so touched by the video that it brought him to tears and he wrote to his fans: “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 broke down, I am to tears because I hate how life is so unfair. This has really touched my heart in a way I cant describe, this is why I do what I do. Why I write my life, and why I love you all so much. Life is really f***ed up sometimes, but 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 definitely mine. You have my love.”
Reported from Ballerstatus, “The latter memory, the third time he nearly died, Breedlove shared that he passed out in school. His heart stopped and he was not breathing for three minutes while paramedics attempted to resuscitate him. During his brush with death, he had a vision of his favorite rapper, Kid Cudi.”
“The next thing that happened, I’m not sure if it was a dream, or vision, but while I was still unconscious I was in this white room,” Breedlove revealed, written on index cards in the video. “No walls, it just went on and on… There was no sound. But that same peaceful feeling I had when I was 4. I was wearing a really nice suit and so was my fav rapper, Kid Cudi. Why he was the only one there with me, I’m still trying to figure out.”
CBS News reported that he passed away on Christmas morning while playing in the backyard with his younger brother. His family did not see the video until the following day. It was his last Christmas present to them.
“I’m very proud of him for choosing to be so vulnerable and share something of himself that was so personal. It was a gift to us, and for him to be so confident and unafraid of death and to share it with other people was so touching,” Deanne Breedlove, Ben’s mother told CBS news.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a condition where the heart muscle becomes thick and makes it hard for the blood to leave the heart which forces the heart to work harder to pump blood. When there is a hypertrophic cardiomyopathy heart condition, it usually makes one part of the heart thicker than the other. It’s also passed down through families, but younger people are the ones to have the most severe condition of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy symptoms include:
– Chest pain
– Fainting, especially during exercise
– Heart failure (in some patients)
– High blood pressure (hypertension)
– Light-headedness, especially with or after activity or exercise
– Sensation of feeling the heart beat (palpitations)
– Shortness of breath
– Other symptoms that may occur are:
– Fatigue, reduced activity tolerance
– Shortness of breath when lying down
More about Ben Breedlove’s Heart condition with Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and his funeral:
Ben Breedlove’s Obituary:
On Christmas night, our son, Ben Breedlove received a gift greater than any we could have given him. He stood in the presence of his Lord and Savior and felt the peace that surpasses all understanding. Ben’s 18-year-old heart may have been afflicted with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, but his physical limitations didn’t keep him from experiencing the things he loved—in fact, he found extraordinary ways to expand on those experiences and take us all along for the ride. He had a curiosity for learning (remember the drum kit?), and his quick, analytical mind sought ways to be the best at whatever captured his attention. He loved wakeboarding, shooting, and playing Call of Duty. His claim to fame was when he and little brother, Jake, beat Colt McCoy and Jordan Shipley in an online match. And they did it gleefully! There are so many ways to describe Ben: he was witty, sharp and funny, and his pranks were legendary. Just ask the unsuspecting drivers on City Park Road! He knew how to operate outside the system, while accomplishing his goals in an honorable fashion. While Ben never seemed to take anything seriously, his happy- go-lucky nature was matched with a warm, loving and candid personality. His YouTube channel gives witness to what his legion of female admirers thought of him! And now the world has come to know our Ben. He was a genius at using the Internet to reach and influence his peers. Through his brilliance with maneuvering the capabilities of YouTube, Ben has left a message for his generation. In the weeks prior to his death, he had faced some scary situations with his health, but had been given an amazing gift that he was determined to share; first with us, his family, and then, not surprisingly (and generously) with his YouTube audience. We know the Lord used the amazing life of our precious son to reach a weary world on Christmas night, just as He did over 2000 years ago with his own Son. We invite you to visit YouTube, and just enter “Ben Breedlove” and receive the gift that Ben hoped would change your life. Ben was abundantly loved by his devoted family: parents, Shawn and Deanne; sister, Ally; and brother, Jake. Waiting to start the party in Heaven were both his grandmothers, Jan Breedlove and Sue Raine. Ben left grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, countless friends of the family, fellow students at Westlake High School, and members of the Internet Generation to mourn the loss of his creativity, wittiness and beautiful smile. Ben has left a lasting impression and legacy far beyond his 18 years. While the pain of losing Ben will never be far, his life is serving a greater purpose. You were always full of surprises, Ben, and this is the best one yet! “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord.” Memorial services will be conducted at three o’clock in the afternoon, Thursday, the 29th of December at Gateway Church, 7104 McNeil Drive, Austin, Texas 78729.
Tributes may be made at: www.cookwaldenfuneralhome. com