Ben Breedlove

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Benjamin Breedlove
Ben Breedlove at Home.jpg
Ben Breedlove at home during Fourth of July 2010
Born Benjamin Daniel Breedlove
(1993-08-08)August 8, 1993
Austin, Texas, United States
Died December 25, 2011(2011-12-25) (aged 18)
Austin, Texas, United States
Cause of death Cardiac arrest
Alma mater Westlake High School[1]
Occupation Internet personality
Years active 2009–2011
Known for "This Is My Story", When Will The Heaven Begin? This is Ben Breedlove's Story
Parent(s) Shawn and Deanne Breedlove
Internet information
Web alias(es) OurAdvice4You
Web hosting service(s) YouTube
Signature phrase "Do you believe in angels or God? I do."

Benjamin Daniel Breedlove (August 8, 1993 – December 25, 2011)[2] was an American Internet personality from Austin, Texas, known for his vlogs on YouTube.[2][3] On the night of December 25, 2011, he died of cardiac arrest at the age of 18.[2][4]

Life and career[edit]

Ben Breedlove grew up in Austin, Texas, where he was a senior at Westlake High School. Ben lived with his parents along with his older sister Ally and younger brother Jake.[1][4] In 2010, he began making video blogs on YouTube, in which he dealt out relationship advice to his peers.[4]

Breedlove created the OurAdvice4You channel on YouTube in November 2010 with friends, Justin Miller and Megan Parken.[2][3][5] On May 23, 2011, he launched his second channel, BreedloveTV, where he would answer questions about dating, relationships and advice.[2]

At an early age, Breedlove had been diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).[6]

"This Is My Story" viral video[edit]

On December 18, 2011, Breedlove released a two-part video on YouTube, titled "This is my story." Breedlove opens up about his heart condition as well as the impact it had on his life, using note cards. He also mentioned three near-death experiences.[2][4][7][8]

"I was at school, walking in the hall. I could tell I was going to faint, so I sat on a bench. I passed out. The next thing I know, I woke up with EMS around me. I couldn't talk or move, I could only watch what they were doing. They put the shock pads on my chest. I heard one of them say 'They are ready'. And the other guy said 'Go!'. I passed out again. My heart stopped and I wasn't breathing for 3 minutes."

Breedlove on the third time he "cheated death".[8]

On May 5, 2009, Breedlove underwent surgery to insert a pacemaker.[2] The pacemaker helped regulate his heart rhythm. In the video he shows a red scar on his chest, where the pacemaker had been inserted.[8]


Breedlove died due to cardiac arrest on the evening of Christmas, 2011, at his parents' home when his family and friends were gathering for Christmas dinner.[4]


Media coverage and memorials[edit]

News of his death made world coverage on December 27 three days after his death, his story first appearing on Australia's Ninemsn[5] before coverage spread out through the world on other major media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times,[8] ABC,[2] CBS News,[9] MSNBC,[10] Fox News,[11] MTV,[12] Daily Mail,[4] The Independent,[13] Herald Sun,[14] Washington Post,[15] People Magazine,[16] and The Wall Street Journal.[17]

On December 29, Breedlove's funeral was held at the Gateway Church, in Austin, Texas. More than 1,400 people attended the service, and another 11,000 watched online. He was interred at Austin Memorial Park Cemetery in Austin, Travis County, Texas, USA. [18][19] A day after Breedlove's death, Kid Cudi said in reaction, "This has really touched my heart in a way I can't describe, this is why I do what I do."[20] Cudi later dedicated his third studio album Indicud (2013), to Breedlove and all his fans that have died; the dedication can be found in the album's liner notes.[21]

HCMA and the HEARTS Act[edit]

On January 5, 2012, the HCMA announced that they mourn the death of Breedlove and are encouraging their members to "tell their stories the same way as Ben." Lisa Salberg, founder and CEO of HCMA, along with New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. had worked together in drafting the Cardiomyopathy Health Education, Awareness, Risk Assessment, and Training in the Schools (HEARTs) act. The Bill was introduced in January 2012 to Congress.[22]

The Westlake High School Student Council and Friday Night Fan Stand collected donations for the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association during the Ben Breedlove Memorial Football Game which took place at the Westlake football stadium on September 21, 2012.[23] Fans wore white as a show of support and a moment of silence was observed. Funds collected were used for educational efforts relating to the disease that claimed Breedlove's life.[23]

Breedlove in September 2011.
The Ben Breedlove Memorial Fund for Africa New Life takes boys off the streets of Rwanda and clothes, feeds and educates them while teaching them that Jesus has a plan for their lives.

Africa New Life Ministries[edit]

On December 27, 2011, the Ben Breedlove Memorial Fund was created at Africa New Life Ministries.[24]

When Will The Heaven Begin?[edit]

On October 29, 2013, the book, When Will The Heaven Begin? was released by Penguin Publishers.[25][26][27] The book was listed on the New York Times Best Seller List beginning the first week of the release date.[28][29][30][31][32] The memoir of Ben's life is written by his sister Ally Breedlove with Ken Abraham.[33][34] The title of the book is taken from the lyric of the song "Mr. Rager", written and performed by Kid Cudi.[35] Ben stated that during his second cardiac arrest, he had a vision of being in a peaceful, white room, in which his favorite rapper Kid Cudi, appeared alongside him as the lyrics to the song "Mr. Rager", began playing.[36]

To Heaven and Back CNN television special[edit]

On December 1, 2013, CNN aired an Anderson Cooper special highlighting the near-death stories of Dr. Mary Neal, Anita Moorjani and Benjamin Breedlove.[37]

Additional publications[edit]

Breedlove's life story has been chronicled in several other publications, including "Imagine Heaven: Near Death Experiences, God's Promises and the Exhilarating Future that Awaits You" by John Burke,[38][39] "Soul Models: Transformative Stories of Courage and Compassion That Will Change Your Life" by Elizabeth Bryan and Angela Daffron [40] and "Echoes of a Life Well Lived" by Richard M. O'Bryan.[41]

In Music[edit]

Breedlove's story has been honored in several musical pieces, including Kid Cudi's dedication of his album, "INDICUD".[42] The Chicago group, Empire, includes their song, "Journey Kid" on their most recent album titled "Orphan". Journey Kid can also be viewed on YouTube.[43] Australian composer Phillip Wilcher composed a 4-string quartet piece titled "Remembered upon Waking", performed by the Linden Quartet.[44] David LaCroix wrote and dedicated his piece, "In A Little While" to Breedlove and all the people that have "gone on to a better place than here".[45]


  1. ^ a b Cargile, Erin (December 29, 2011). "How Ben lived with his heart condition". Retrieved December 28, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Ng, Christina (December 28, 2011). "Texas Teen Ben Breedlove Posted Powerful Videos Before Christmas Death". American Broadcasting Company. Retrieved December 29, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Teen Shares His Heartbreaking Story". Huffington Post. December 28, 2011. Retrieved December 29, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "'There was this bright light above me': Teenager makes heartbreaking video about his near-death experiences — a week before he dies from heart attack". Daily Mail. London. December 28, 2011. Retrieved December 28, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Ninemsn Staff (December 27, 2011). "Sick teen's heartbreaking final message". Ninemsn. Retrieved December 29, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2015-03-08. 
  7. ^ McGraw, Dan (December 28, 2011). "Texas teen leaves YouTube video days before death". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved December 29, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c d Rene Lynch & Deborah Netburn (December 28, 2011). "Texas teen dies on Christmas, leaves online message". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 29, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Teen posts YouTube message days before death" (Official YouTube video). CBS. CBS. December 29, 2011. Retrieved December 30, 2011. 
  10. ^ Dahl, Melissa (December 29, 2011). "After Christmas death, teen leaves online message behind". Retrieved December 29, 2011. 
  11. ^ Tozzi, Robert (December 28, 2011). "Texas Teen Leaves Behind Inspirational Video After Christmas Death". Fox News. Retrieved December 30, 2011. 
  12. ^ Duncan-Mao, Andrea (December 29, 2011). "Kid Cudi 'Broke Down' Over Fan Ben Breedlove's Death". MTV. Retrieved December 30, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Teenager posts heartbreaking video of near death experiences just one week before dying". The Independent. December 28, 2011. Retrieved December 30, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Teen shares heartbreaking life and death on video". Herald Sun. December 29, 2011. Retrieved December 29, 2011. 
  15. ^ Hughes, Sarah (December 29, 2011). "Kid Cudi pens letter to fan who passed away from heart condition". Washington Post. Retrieved December 30, 2011. 
  16. ^ Breuer, Howard (December 29, 2011). "Teen Died on Christmas, Left Behind Candid Message on YouTube". People Magazine. Retrieved December 29, 2011. 
  17. ^ WSJ staff (January 1, 2012). "Teen Tells Story on YouTube Before Death". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  18. ^ Erin Cargile (December 29, 2011). "Ben's pastor: He loved life, loved God - 6 pm News" (Official YouTube video). KXAN. KXAN. Retrieved December 30, 2011. 
  19. ^ Erin Cargile & Pamela Cosel (December 29, 2011). "Ben's pastor: He loved life, loved God". KXAN. Retrieved December 29, 2011. 
  20. ^ Stapleton, Erica (December 30, 2011). "Kid Cudi passionately reacts to Ben Breedlove videos". Retrieved December 30, 2011. 
  21. ^ DP (April 13, 2013). "Kid Cudi Dedicates INDICUD Album to Fans, Ben Breedlove". Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  22. ^ "HCMA Remembers Ben Breedlove and Encourages You to Get the Facts on Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)". Market Watch. January 5, 2012. Retrieved January 9, 2012. 
  23. ^ a b Ed Allen, Opinion Article, Westlake Picayune Newspaper, September 20, 2012
  24. ^ Africa New Life Ministries (2011-12-29). "The Ben Breedlove Memorial Fund - Africa New Life Ministries". Retrieved 2015-03-08. 
  25. ^ "When Will the Heaven Begin? - Penguin Books USA". 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2015-03-08. 
  26. ^ Christian Death Grief. "When Will the Heaven Begin?: This Is Ben Breedlove's Story: Ally Breedlove, Ken Abraham: 9780451468154: Books". Retrieved 2015-03-08. 
  27. ^ "When Will the Heaven Begin?: This Is Ben Breedlove's Story by Ally Breedlove | 9780451468154 | Paperback | Barnes & Noble". 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2015-03-08. 
  28. ^ Taylor, Ihsan. "Best Sellers - The New York Times". Retrieved 2015-03-08. 
  29. ^ Cowles, Gregory. "Print & E-Books". The New York Times. 
  30. ^ "Publishers Weekly Bestseller Lists". Retrieved 2015-03-08. 
  31. ^ Taylor, Ihsan. "Best Sellers - The New York Times". Retrieved 2015-03-08. 
  32. ^ Taylor, Ihsan. "Best Sellers - The New York Times". Retrieved 2015-03-08. 
  33. ^ "When Will the Heaven Begin? - Penguin Books USA". 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2015-03-08. 
  34. ^ "Ken Abraham —". 1999-10-25. Retrieved 2015-03-08. 
  35. ^ "Kid Cudi – Mr. Rager Lyrics | Genius". Retrieved 2015-03-08. 
  36. ^ Video on YouTube
  37. ^ "Stories of life, death and faith: 'To Heaven and Back'". 2013-11-29. Retrieved 2015-03-08. 
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^ "Soul Models: Transformative Stories of Courage and Compassion That Will Change Your Life: Angela Daffron, Elizabeth Bryan: 9780757317866: Books". Retrieved 2015-03-08. 
  41. ^ "Echoes of a Life Well Lived: A Collection of Personal Stories, Essays, Poems, Insights, Reflections and Observations (9780615974927): Richard M O'Bryan: Books". Retrieved 2015-03-08. 
  42. ^
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  44. ^
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