Heaven Begins for Ben Breedloveby A-Badgero
Like many 18 year olds of his generation, Ben was an avid Youtube vlogger. Ben and his friends had their own channel and posted videos quite regularly. Many of the videos are light hearted and meant to assist others in their age group with dealing with teenage issues such as long distance relationships etc..
The last videos that Ben would post would leave a huge impact those who saw them. On December 18, 2011 Ben released a two part video titled “This is my story” in these short videos Ben takes you through the journey of his life. He starts by sharing that he suffers from a heart condition known as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and has for all his life. This is a condition where the heart muscle becomes thick making it more difficult for the heart to pump blood through the body.
Using flash cards he tells us about the fear he feels from having this deadly condition and the hatred he has for this fear. He says he wishes he could have grown up and played sports like everyone else but his limitations are something he learned to accept and live with. He then begins to tell tales of cheating death and he revisits these journeys with remarkable attention to detail.
He starts us on his journey with his first near death experience which he encountered when he was just four years old.
Ben suffered from a seizure and his blood sugar dropped to 14. While he was in the hospital he was being wheeled down a hallway on a stretcher by two nurses with his mom along side him when he saw a bright light above him. When he tells his mom to look at it she says she can’t see anything, there are no bright lights on in the hall. Ben could not keep himself from looking at the light, he said he could not stop smiling and he felt an overwhelming feeling of peace and happiness like nothing else in the world mattered. That’s everything he remembers from that day but said he would never forget that feeling.
His health was stable for a few years until 2007 when he began having heart trouble again, this time the doctor said there had to be something done. In 2009 he received surgery to implant a pacemaker/defibrillator, a surgery that scared him but realized he had no choice if he wanted to live.
The summer of 2011 is the second time Ben Breedlove cheated death. Ben went into the hospital for tonsil surgery, a regular routine surgery performed by doctors, but during the operation he suddenly went into cardiac arrest. Paramedics were able to shock him back to life. After this experience he felt the fear of dying but tried to forget about it and not to worry.
December 6th 2011 was the third and final time Ben cheated death. He passed out on a bench at school and woke up in the emergency room. Paralyzed he could only watch as they placed shock pads on his chest. Ben’s heart and breathing stopped for 3 minutes. When a heart stops the brain continues to work for a short while. Ben says he heard the paramedics say “He’s not breathing, he has no pulse” and he thought to himself, “This is it, I’m dying” but then he suddenly found himself in a white room with no walls that just went on forever. Then he felt it again, that same peaceful feeling he experienced when he was four.
Not sure if this was a vision or a dream Ben is joined by his favorite musical artist Kid Cudi and they are dressed to impress in fancy suits. He looks into a mirror and thinks, “Damn we look good!” Again he couldn’t stop smiling and felt a great sense of pride in himself, and for everything he has ever done. Then Kid Cudi brings him to a glass desk and puts his hand on his shoulder, then Ben hears his favorite song, Mr. Rager. He hears the lyrics “When will the fantasy end. When will heaven begin” then Cudi says to him “Go now” and Ben awakens to emergency workers giving him CPR. Ben said he was not sure why Kid Cudi was the only person there with him. Many believe that a guardian angel will take the form of someone you admire or look up to.
Ben who has been smiling throughout his life story videos has a serious face. He then holds up a card that says “I didn’t want to leave that place, I wish I NEVER woke up.” The next card reads “Do you believe in angels or God?” and the last card “I Do.”
Ben passed away from a heart attack Christmas day of 2011. His family discovered his “My story” videos two days after his death. His nineteen year old sister Ally, believes Ben left the videos for the family to find, to give them what they needed to begin to heal. Ally said, ” Ben told us he wanted to go back, of the peace he experienced and how he wanted to go back to that place. He was ready.”
By the time Ben’s family had discovered the videos they had already gone viral. Thousands were inspired, comforted and touched by Ben’s story. Amanda Sample went to the same school as Ben although she did not know him she said ” I liked how he was not afraid to die, it made me feel comfortable, like it’s going to be ok.”
Ben touched so many people online that his family requested his funeral service be streamed live. More than 1,500 people attended Breedlove’s funeral at the church and thousands more attended online.
Whether or not you are religious or whether you do or don’t believe that the vision Ben saw was his guardian angel Ben’s story gives people hope that in the end everything is going to be okay. Thank you for leaving us with this gift Ben.