On August 8, 1993, Shawn and Deanne Breedlove gave birth to their baby boy, Ben. But their elation quickly turned to heartbreak when doctors diagnosed Ben with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart defect.
Doctors said Ben would suffer from the life-threatening condition for the rest of his life, and there was no cure. Instead of wallowing in worry, Shawn and Deanne decided to be thankful for each and every day and be grateful for their beautiful son.
Alongside his older sister and younger brother, Ben grew up to become an active, bubbly, and sociable kid in Austin, Texas. Over the years, he had three cardiac arrests. After his heart would stop beating, Ben would awake each time and describe visions of a “waiting room of heaven,” full of bright lights and angels.
In 2010, Ben began making video blogs and posting them to YouTube, in which he shared relationship advice to his peers. He quickly became a popular YouTube personality with scores of loyal followers.
On the evening of Christmas 2011, Ben went into cardiac arrest at home while his family and friends were gathering there for Christmas dinner. He passed away at the age of 18. News of his death made headlines around the world. More than 1,400 people attended his funeral service, and another 11,000 watched online from all over the world.
In the days following their son’s death, Shawn and Deanne were asked what they thought of “the video.” The grieving family had no idea what they were talking about.
As it turned out, Ben had posted a final video just one week before he died. When Shawn, Dianne, and the rest of Ben’s family saw it, they realized why it went viral with millions of views.
Watch the video below to see the legacy Ben left behind, and please SHARE his story with your friends on Facebook.
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