Worldwide attention on Ben Breedlove
AUSTIN (KXAN) – The world mourned the loss of an Austin teenager who touched millions through his YouTube videos.
“I know a lot of you are hurting because you miss Ben. But don’t let your happiness go away because Ben is gone,” said Ally Breedlove, whose brother Ben died Christmas Day at 18 of a heart ailment he had endured since childhold.
Through a live stream on the Internet thousands watched Ben’s funeral services as hundreds sat inside the packed Gateway Church in Northwest Austin.
During the last two years of his life, Ben posted videos on YouTube where he spoke about his congenital heart defect, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. He also spoke about his faith and his life experiences. He even dispensed advice on dating.
In his final videos he silently held up cards that revealed his near-death experiences and being at peace with death.
In a dimly lit Austin church auditorium Thursday, more than 1,500 people gathered to celebrate the life of Ben Breedlove.
“The life Ben is now experiencing is not less of life — it’s more of life than we ever imagined,” said Gateway Church Lead Pastor John Burke.
Although Breedlove loved life, he didn’t fear death.
“To know he was ready to go and it’s what he wanted is really special, and it’s really comfortable knowing that he wasn’t scared and it wasn’t painful and it was something he really wanted,” said Ben’s friend, Cameron Thompson.
In person, Breedlove was as playful as any teenager, but his courage and faith shown in videos shot just before he died are what is attracting worldwide attention.
“We think it’s incredible. We knew a lot of people loved Ben but we had no idea how many people he would reach,” said Ally Breedlove.
Ben Breedlove asked on a card he held up in his final video, “Do you believe in Angels or God?” And next, “I do.”
“It’s not often that a lot of people get those kinds of messages before someone
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