The Austin teen, who had long struggled with a condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, died of an apparent cardiac arrest in his home.
A few days before his untimely demise, Ben took to his medium of choice to post a farewell video (part 1; part 2) in which he discusses his lifelong illness and recounts several near-death experiences, including one involving a vision of rapper Kid Cudi.
“Life is really f*cked up sometimes,” Cudi wrote on his personal Tumblr blog, “but I know Ben is at Peace, and I hope he gets a chance to sit and talk with my Dad. We love you Ben. Forever.”
He was laid to rest yesterday in his hometown. The memorial service at Gateway Church was attended by 1,400 people and livestreamed by local news station KXAN to over 11,000 online mourners.
A GoFundMe page soliciting donations to benefit Breedlove’s family has already raised nearly twice its initial goal of $5,000.
Words of sympathy and support also continue to pour in from nearly everyone who encounters Ben’s story.
“It’s very overwhelming for us and privilege for our family to be any part of that,” his mother, Deanne, told KXAN News. “It’s exciting to know that Ben planted a seed in people’s minds to begin thinking about things that really do matter in life.”
Part 2 of Ben’s video below: