“Hello, I’m Ben Breedlove. Do you believe in Angels or in God? I Do”
Ben Breedlove, a teenager from Texas, survived three heart attacks during his young life. He lived with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This is a condition where the muscles of the heart thicken, making it hard for the blood to leave the heart.
This young man spent his last years making educational videos about his condition.
One week before Christmas, he made his last one.
Ben died on Christmas Day. He was only 18.
This last video was the most powerful, as he narrated – using hand-written flash cards – how he survived several near-death experiences. He mentioned seeing a large white room without walls during one of them and a bright light in another. In this last experience, he remembered seeing his favorite rapper, Kid Cudi, approach and comfort him.
After learning of Ben’s death, Kid Cudi posted a letter to him in his blog.
“I broke down, I am in tears because I hate how life is so unfair,” writes the rapper.
That is a very good question. I also asked myself how come so many people, with good health and a decent life, forget to acknowledge all the good things they have?
Despite all this, Ben left us with a gift.
He brought us a needed awareness to a rare but dangerous heart condition. And because of him, many of us know so much more about hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
It is immensely touching to see someone like Ben who instead of being resentful or angry, as many of us would be in a similar situation, reached out to fellow teens and made powerful educational videos.
Instead of the “life sucks” that you hear from so many young college kids, Ben offered us a few warm smiles and a message of hope to others who might be going through the same thing.
In addition, Ben’s last videos reminds us of several life lessons…
- Always appreciate everyone you love. Do not take anything for granted.
- Treasure what you have.
- Don’t over-analyze your relationships, as Dr. Leo Buscaglia once said.
- Believe in the goodness of your heart and your will to help yourself and help others.
In sum, to answer Ben’s question, do I believe in angels? Ben, you ARE an angel.