Sister of Ben Breedlove, the teen who died Christmas night, says her brother was a Christian


By Mark Ellis

Three minutes in the ‘waiting room’ of heaven

Teenager Ben Breedlove


He “cheated” death three times in his short life, but a rare heart condition finally sent him heaven bound on Christmas night at only 18-years-old. A video Ben recorded one week before his passing has gone viral and is bringing hope to many about eternity.

“I accepted Christ at age four and Ben also accepted Christ at age four,” says Ally Breedlove, Ben’s older sister. “Ben was never the type to evangelize or speak openly about his faith, but we always knew Ben believed in God and heaven and accepted Christ.”

Ben suffered from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a life-threatening condition in which one part of the heart is thicker than the other parts, making it hard for the heart to pump blood adequately. “My parents were told when Ben was a baby that he might not live past his early teens,” Ally says. “Sudden death is a very high risk and his episodes were getting more and more serious and more and more frequent,” she notes.

Ben & Ally Breedlove

Despite all the warnings, Ben’s sister hoped for a different outcome. “We chose not to believe he would pass away young; we wanted to believe he would live a long and happy life.”

In the video posted to YouTube – viewed more than 2.3 million times, Ben said he cheated death during his previous health emergencies. Tragically his rare condition ultimately led to the fatal heart attack on Christmas. His video tells his story using hand-written note cards to describe a series of powerful visions.

His first near-death experience due to cardiac arrest came at age four, as he was being wheeled into the hospital. “There was a big bright light above me,” he says on the video. “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,” he notes in the video. “There were no lights on in this hall. I couldn’t take my eyes off it and I couldn’t help but smile.”

Suddenly, a peace that passes all understanding enveloped the four-year-old. “I had no worries at all,” Ben recalled, “like nothing else in the world mattered, and I kept smiling. I can’t even describe how peaceful it was.”

On December 6th , Ben passed out at school. During this episode, his heart stopped beating and he wasn’t breathing for three minutes.EMS medics used shock pads to attempt to revive his heart.

“The next thing that happened – I’m not sure if it was a dream or a vision – but while I was still unconscious I was in this white room with no walls. It just went on and on,” Ben said.

“There was no sound, but that same peaceful feeling I had when I was four,” he noted.

Then something unusual happened, something he found difficult to explain afterward. His favorite rapper, Kid Cudi, greeted him in the ethereal setting. “I was wearing a really nice suit and so was my favorite rapper,” Ben said. “Kid Cudi brought me to a glass desk and put his hand on my shoulder and my favorite song started playing, the one that says ‘When will the fantasy end; when will heaven begin?’”

Then Kid Cudi turned to him and said, “Go now.” At that moment, Ben awakened as theEMSmedics performed CPR.

“I didn’t want to leave that place,” he said. “I wish I never woke up.”

At the end of Ben’s YouTube video, he asks, “Do you believe in angels or God?” He then answers his own question by saying, “I do.”

Ben’s family did not discover the video until after his passing. “We were not aware he made this video, which was odd,” Ally says. Usually, Ben informed the family about his video projects and elicited their ideas. However, this project was different.

Ben’s friends started calling Ally Christmas night after they learned of his death. “There was a lot of confusion about the time he collapsed at school, so I thought I should get on Facebook and let his friends know what really happened.”

When Ally turned on her computer in the early morning hours of December 26th, she was surprised. “I got on Facebook at 4:00 a.m. and it was everywhere,” she says. “That was the first time I saw the video.” It had 300 views before Ben’s death, but went viral afterward.

Due to the timing of the video – posted one week before his passing – Ally believes he may have had a premonition. Normally, Ben was lighthearted, always joking with friends and family. “This was the first time he’s done something that serious or sincere or intentional,” she notes.

“It was hard for him to talk to us about it. He left it for us to find because he knew we would need that after he was gone.”

Ally remembers one special evening when she stayed up late with Ben and discussed his vision. “He said he was in a white room with no walls and no ceiling. There was indescribably peace, the same thing he felt when he was four-years-old.”

“He didn’t know why his favorite rapper was in the dream with him,” she says. “He thought it was because the specific lyrics spoke to him.”

When Ben looked in the mirror in his vision, he felt more confident than he had ever felt in his life. The mirror also possessed an unusual quality not mentioned in the YouTube video. “The mirror was not just a reflection of himself. He was looking at his whole life.”

As he stood at the side of rapper Kid Cudi, Ben felt like he was ready for something more important, perhaps a more important assignment on the other side of eternity. Kid Cudi turned to Ben and said, “Are you ready?”

“Yes,” Ben replied.

“Go now,” the rapper told him.

Afterward Ben struggled over whether he should call his experience a dream or a vision. “He didn’t know what to call it,” Ally notes. “He called it a dream but he was awake and it was very real.”

“He thinks he was in the waiting room for heaven,” she adds.

Ben’s mother, Deanne, is currently reading the book “Heaven is for Real,” but Ben never read it. Deanne points to one similarity between the two experiences: Ben and Colton Burpo said later they were eager to return to heaven some day, which parallels the Apostle Paul’s view after a heavenly vision.

Some may be disappointed that Ben doesn’t specifically identify Jesus in the video. “He doesn’t mention Jesus’ name in the video, but we know he accepted Christ and he did believe very strongly in Jesus,” Ally notes.

Ally is proud of the legacy her brother left behind. “He was the biggest source of joy in our lives. He wanted to share the peace he felt with everyone. Ben was giving hope to people. He wants them to know there is more out there than just this life.”

In a family Bible study on one Sunday morning when Ben felt too weak to attend church, he prayed for his family. “He prayed that we would not be sad or scared and that we would feel the same peace he felt from God.”


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  1. Thank you for the follow up to the video. I too have had two visions in my life time. It is so hard to describe the purity and peaceful whiteness I found myself in, and the reality of Christ’s presence

  2. Look, he clearly had a dream seeing the rapper. Its obvious he says so himself it was a dream.

    The lesson is that his message waesuss not clear about jesus his Savior and the rapper is obviously not in heaven. In fact the rapper refers to his passing as @@$$ up. Really folks? There are a lot of Christian lyrics we all would want to be

    • To as many as receive Him (Christ) to them He gave the right to be called children of God. We go to heaven because of what Christ did for us, not because of what we do perfectly for Him. We are all a work in progress in our growth as Christians, but our salvation is sealed and settled. God bless all the Breedlove family.

      • Just a clarification–my comments about Ben was to reassure his loved ones and was in response to some who were suggesting that Ben’s salvation was in question because he did not specify everything he believed about Christ in his video.
        Thank you.

  3. He may not have identified Jesus, but because of his video, a coworker/friend, whom I deeply care about & desire to come to know the Truth, is now thinking about God & eternity…let’s use this much-talked-about video as springboard to share Jesus without being critical & judgmental…

  4. TO THOSE WHO COMMENT HERE THAT IS WOULD BE NECESSARY FOR BEN TO HAVE SAID SPECIFICALLY “JESUS” TO BE CONSIDERED A CHRISTIAN OR A BELIEVER, OR TO GO TO HEAVEN: Absolutely, Ben would not have had to mention Jesus to be a Christian. God uniquely shows Himself to us in many, and varied, and individually tailored ways, just for us, sometimes. After all, we were all ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ by God; He knows us better than anyone else. Whether you call Him Jesus, or God, or refer to Heaven and Angels, it’s all the same. Jesus spoke of unfailing Love and Never-Ending Peace. I wouldn’t doubt that He could show us, and teach about this in any way He wants to…constructed just for us, in a way unique to an understanding we can easily ACCEPT! That’s it, just ACCEPT…that’s what Ben did, and he’s showing us now, that there’s nothing to fear, no matter what, or perhaps more importantly for our doubting commenters above…to be JUDGED! David / Michigan Viewer.

  5. Rest in peace Ben. I may not have known you, but i know that we all love you. I hope you watch over us, especially the youth and nonbelievers, and help keep us close to God and be able to leave our own little, but powerful marks on this world. Thanks for that.:) Also, that is one of the coolest ways to leave this world….bet you didnt think youd become so popular. This is a definite lesson for all of us to live out our beliefs, even if its in silence, markers, and notecards. GOD BLESS. <3

  6. My adult son died 11/19/11. He took a overdose of pain meds. His death has been a struggle for me. I believe in God, and Jesus Christ his son. But my faith has been challenged by this tragic event. I was fortunate enough to view the video Ben made. Ben’s video has given me peace and a new way of looking at my son’s death. I located some photos I had not seen before. The photos were of a wedding, where he was best man. He was dressed in a tux and looked so happy and handsome. I decided to use the photos at his funeral. Then along came Ben’s video; his reference to being in a suit looking into a mirror really hit home. I realize we may never have the answers we are looking for. But God does give us small pieces of insight; like a puzzle we add these pieces to help us overcome our doubts.
    Thank you Ben for being the messenger I needed.

  7. Thank you Alley for this post. Your brother seems like an amazing young man. I wish there were way more like him, the world would be a much better place. I have seen new videos in response to Ben’s death. The one that I think means the most is the one by the two young freshmen who did a tribute, saying, Ben changed their lives. Ben made these two boy’s better people. I know he’s affected many (myself included). We can only guess how he would have affected the whole world had he lived, Less? or more? He suffered from a bad heart, but what a GREAT heart it was. Looking forward to meeting you Ben,R.I.P., Gary

  8. I am grateful to see this video he shared with the world. I can say I am not afraid to die. Before this video I had many questions and his video answered so many. I think its true the good die young. He seemed like a person that would of been amazing to personally know. Thanks Ben for telling those who don’t believe and maybe just maybe made them stop and question their own idea about god and heaven.

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