Do you believe in angels? This young man did—and he wasn’t afraid to let the world know.
Posted in , Jan 19, 2012
This week's contribution was written by Guideposts senior editor Celeste McCauley.
It’s not so out of the ordinary that 18-year-old Ben Breedlove would make his own video and post it on YouTube. After all, he had shot many already, a series of segments dishing out advice to teens.
But on Sunday, December 18, the high school senior from Austin, Texas, was inspired to shoot something different—a video with no sound, just flashcards telling his story. No one could have predicted it would be so prescient.
Ben was battling a life-threatening condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a thickening of the heart muscle. He had had three heart attacks already (the first at age 4) and got a pacemaker implanted in 2009. In Ben’s new video, called This Is My Story,his handwritten notecards said how proud he was of everything he’d done, about how he cheated death, and described his own remarkable near-death experience.
Unbeknownst to his friends and family, he put the video up on a new YouTube page. Exactly a week later, on Christmas Day, Ben suffered another heart attack. While filming his little brother jumping on his new trampoline, he lay down on the grass and never woke up. Word spread about his passing. That’s when Ben’s friends found his video and shared it with his teen sister, Ally, who in turn showed it to her heartbroken family that night. They were buoyed by it. They felt Ben was truly ready to say goodbye, and this video was a way of helping them get over the pain.
On the last flashcard, he asked, “Do you believe in angels?” He then on the next card, he wrote, “I do.” Was there ever any doubt?
Ben’s video has received more than 6 million hits and counting. If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look.