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Stars that died 2010

Monday, January 6, 2014

Ben Breedlove, American Internet personality, died from cardiac arrest he was 18.

Benjamin Daniel Breedlove [2] was an American Internet personality from Austin, Texas, known for his blogs on YouTube .[2][3] On the night of December 25, 2011, he died of cardiac arrest at the age of 18.[2][4]

(August 8, 1993 – December 25, 2011)

Personal life

Breedlove grew up in Austin, Texas, where he was a senior at Westlake High School. He lived with his parents and two siblings, older sister Ally and younger brother Jake.[1][4] In 2010, he began making video blogs on YouTube, in which he dealt out relationship advice to his peers.[4]


Breedlove created the OurAdvice4You channel on YouTube in November 2010 with friends, Justin Miller and Megan Parken.[2][3][5] He would give out relationship advice to his viewers and interview family members and friends. On May 23, 2011, he launched his second channel, BreedloveTV, a companion channel to his first, where he would answer questions about dating, relationships and advice.[2] According to family members, girls from all over the world would message Breedlove, asking him for advice. In his hometown, Breedlove became a celebrity to many teenagers; he was continually asked to be in pictures with his fans.[6]
As of 2 September 2012, OurAdvice4You has a total of 38 videos, and more than 60,000 subscribers, and BreedloveTV has 17 videos and over 32,000 subscribers.
A third channel was created by Breedlove on December 18, 2011, entitled TotalRandomness512. This channel is the host of the two-part video, "This is my story", which has since become viral. As of 27 December 2012, both videos have a total of 12.6 million views.[2]

Heart condition

At an early age, Breedlove had been diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a muscle heart disease which made it difficult for his heart to pump blood, ultimately leading to cardiac issues. His doctor believed that Breedlove would not survive past his early teenage years.[1]

"This is my story"

On December 18, 2011, Breedlove released a 2-part video on YouTube, entitled "This is my story." Breedlove opens up about his heart condition as well as the impact it had on his life, using note cards. He also mentioned three near-death experiences.[7]
"I was at school, walking in the hall. I could tell I was going to faint, so I sat on a bench. I passed out. The next thing I know, I woke up with EMS around me. I couldn't talk or move, I could only watch what they were doing. They put the shock pads on my chest. I heard one of them say 'They are ready'. And the other guy said 'Go!'. I passed out again. My heart stopped and I wasn't breathing for 3 minutes."
Breedlove on the third time he "cheated death".[8]

Breedlove in September 2011.
In the video, Breedlove describes the first time he "cheated" death, which was at the age of 4 when he had a life-threatening seizure.[7] He goes on to describe an experience he had in a hospital while being wheeled on a stretcher, "There was this big bright light above me ... I couldn't make out what it was because it was so bright. I told my mom, 'Look at the bright light' and pointed up. She said she didn't see anything."[2][4][8]
On May 5, 2009, Breedlove underwent surgery to insert a pacemaker.[2] The pacemaker helped regulate his heart rhythm and gave him more energy.[1] In the video he shows a red scar on his chest, where the pacemaker had been inserted.[8]
In the summer of 2011, while in the hospital for a routine tonsillectomy, Breedlove suffered his second cardiac arrest. He stated that, "It was a miracle that they brought me back ... I was scared to die, but am SO glad I didn't."[2]
The third time Breedlove survived death was on December 6, 2011. While in the hall at Westlake High School, he felt that he was going to faint, so he sat on a bench and lost consciousness. The next thing he remembered was being surrounded by emergency medical services (EMS) personnel, and that he was unable to speak or move. He remembers passing out a second time right before he was about to be resuscitated with a "shock pad". During this time his heart ceased pumping blood for three minutes.[8][9] While unconscious, Breedlove had a feeling of comfort similar to that of his first near-death experience. He recalls being dressed up in a white suit while standing alongside his favorite rapper, Kid Cudi, in a white room.[8] He references Cudi's song "Mr. Rager", citing the track as his favorite song.[10] He asks at the end of the video, "Do you believe in Angels or God?" and simply answers, "I Do."[11]


Breedlove died from a cardiac arrest on the evening of Christmas Day, 2011, at his parents' home as family and friends were gathering for Christmas dinner.[4] According to Ben's school friend, he had received a new video camera for Christmas and was anxious to get outside and try it. While outside, he began experiencing shortness of breath and light headedness. Breedlove laid down in the yard then passed out. His parents called 911 and administered CPR until EMS arrived. Friends of the family were on their way to the Breedlove home to share Christmas dinner with them. However, when they arrived the yard was filled with emergency vehicles. Paramedics rushed Ben to the hospital, but all resuscitation attempts failed.[12]


News of his death made world coverage on December 27, his story first appearing on Australia's Ninemsn[5] before coverage spread out through the world on other major media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times,[8] American Broadcasting Company,[2] CBS News,[13] MSNBC,[9] Fox News,[14] MTV,[15] Daily Mail,[4] The Independent,[16] Herald Sun,[17] Washington Post,[18] People Magazine,[19] and The Wall Street Journal.[20]
On December 29, Breedlove's funeral was held at the Gateway Church, in Austin, Texas. The memorial service was streamed live on the KXAN website, at his father's request. More than 1,400 people attended the service, and another 11,000 watched online.[21][22] A day after Breedlove's death, Kid Cudi said in reaction, "This has really touched my heart in a way I can't describe, this is why I do what I do."[23] Kid Cudi later dedicated his third studio album Indicud (2013), to Breedlove and all his fans that have passed away, in the album's liner notes.[24]
Breedlove's family had his organs and tissue donated, a decision that wasn't difficult, since, Ben eventually would have needed heart transplantation himself, and "Ben would have wanted to continue helping and inspiring others," according to his mother.[25] On January 1, 2013, Breedlove was among four other individuals honored by Dignity Memorial on a Donate Life float at the 124th Tournament of Roses Parade. The float was memorialized with floragraphs and portraits of the five individuals, made out of floral and other natural materials, that were decorated by their family and friends in December.[25][26]

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association & The HEARTS Act

On January 5, 2012, the HCMA (Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association) announced that they mourn the death of Breedlove and are encouraging their members to "tell their stories the same way as Ben." Lisa Salberg, founder and CEO of HCMA, along with New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. had worked together in drafting the Cardiomyopathy Health Education, Awareness, Risk Assessment, and Training in the Schools (HEARTs) act. The Bill was introduced in January 2012 to Congress. "The HEARTs Act mandates raising awareness about Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) in schools and childcare centers and requires better prevention measures that will save young people's lives. It requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to coordinate with the Centers for Disease Control as well as patient advocacy and health professional organizations to develop and distribute materials about SCA. Also, it requires guidelines regarding the placement of life-saving automated external defibrillators in schools and information on cardiopulmonary resuscitation CPR training."[27]
Salberg cited Ben Breedlove and others like him as the reason they will "lobby hard for the passage" of the HEARTs Act. The HCMA have agreed to create a special design bracelet for awareness of the disease. Students of Ben's high school, Westlake High, have had input into the design.[28]
The Westlake High School Student Council and Friday Night Fan Stand collected donations for the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association during the Ben Breedlove Memorial Football Game which took place at the Westlake football stadium on September 21, 2012.[29] Fans wore white as a show of support and a moment of silence was observed. Funds collected were used for educational efforts relating to the disease that claimed Breedlove's life.[29]

Africa New Life Ministries

Donations in honor of Breedlove have also been directed to Africa New Life Ministries, an organization which states as its mission to provide "education, spiritual insight and basic necessities to poor children and families."[30] During Breedlove's teenage years, he became familiar with the plight of homeless African children; specifically those enslaved as child soldiers. Breedlove's desire was to find a way to help these children, but he was unable to do so during his lifetime. In honor of Breedlove's wishes, funds donated to the Ben Breedlove Memorial Fund will be used to help feed, clothe and educate young men in Rwanda.[31]

On January 1, 2013, the Rose Bowl Parade float titled "Journeys of the Heart", which was sponsored by Donate Life, featured florographs of Breedlove, along with many other organ and tissue donors and recipients.[32] Each year, Donate Life honors deceased organ, eye and tissue donors nationwide by creating and placing the florographs on the float.[33] The float was decorated with all fresh flowers, plants and seeds. The artistry of the float included sweeping hearts that swirled up very high and low, symbolizing the highs and lows of organ and tissue donation.
Breedlove's heart condition, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, often requires a heart transplant. Because Breedlove would possibly require a heart transplant, he and his family made the decision to register as donors with the belief that if they were to be a recipient family, they should be willing to be donors, too. Breedlove's legacy of donation currently lives on in approximately 50 people, with the potential to help more.[34]

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