On Christmas Day 2011, Ben Breedlove's soul went to heaven. Read more...
On Christmas Day 2011, Ben Breedlove's soul went to heaven. But it wasn't his first time there. Ben suffered from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a heart condition that posed a constant risk of sudden death. His condition, a thickening of the heart muscle, worsened over time, leaving him weak and fatigued. It also led Ben to some close calls medically, in particular cardiac arrest on four separate occasions, during which he felt the presence of angels and experienced the perfect peace of heaven.
Precocious and warm, Ben was close with his family and two siblings, and forged deep relationships with his friends. He loved to wakeboard and wakesurf, and he had dreams of visiting foreign countries around the world. He created the YouTube channels TotalRandomness512 and BreedloveTV, and cocreated the channel OurAdvice4You, where he posted videos about everything from dating advice for girls to more serious topics like his spirituality and heart condition.
Unbeknownst to his parents and family, Ben created a two-part video called "This Is My Story," in which he used flash cards to tell the world about his near-death experiences and his beckoning toward heaven.
When he died a short while later at the tender age of eighteen, his family and the rest of the world stumbled upon these videos. The world responded with overwhelming acceptance of the message Ben shared.
Ben's vision of heaven was his gift to his family, and to the world. And now this is the Breedlove family's gift to us--an in-depth look at the life and near-deaths of Ben, the strength and faith of a family, and, ultimately, the hope of heaven.
"Do you believe in Angels or God? I Do.--Ben Breedlove "
- ISBN-13: 9780451468154
- ISBN-10: 0451468155
- Publisher: Berkley Books
- Publish Date: October 2013
- Page Count: 320
- Reading Level: Ages 18-UP
- Dimensions: 8.36 x 5.51 x 0.91 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.76 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-10-14
- Reviewer: Staff
A grieving sister shares her brother’s inspirational story in a competently reported, though unexpectedly remote, memoir. Breedlove, with the help of collaborator Abraham (Let’s Roll), writes about her younger brother Ben, and his struggle to lead a normal life with a serious heart condition. Ben’s indomitable spirit, and the support of his family, however, ensured that even when he died from congenital hypertrophic cardiomyopathy at age eighteen, he had lived a joyous and full life. Breedlove shares stories from Ben’s early years, the times he “cheated death” from cardiac arrest and the spiritual visions that he experienced with each medical crisis. The third-person perspective, however, seems at odds with Ben’s own approach to life; he was a prolific YouTube videographer who spoke directly to his viewers right until the end, when he produced a heartfelt final video that went viral after his death on Christmas Day, 2011. Much of Ben’s story was covered in television news and popular magazines following his death, and while Breedlove’s memoir adds details from their family life, the reserved tone prevents it from offering a more intimate look. Agent: Robert Barnett (Oct.)