AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas teenager whose YouTube videos inspired viewers worldwide during his shortened life has been remembered at his funeral in Austin as someone who loved life and God.
Ben Breedlove died Christmas Day of cardiac arrest at age 18. He'd suffered from a heart condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. It's a disease that makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood properly.
Breedlove created a series of videos in which he offered relationship advice and talked about his health. He described having three near-death experiences, including one at the age of four in which he said he saw a big bright light above him while he was being wheeled down a hospital corridor on a stretcher. His experiences left him convinced of the existence of God and life after death.
At Thursday's funeral service, Gateway Church pastor John Burke said that Breedlove "loved life and he loved God," and expressed the hope that everyone can find the same peace he had found.
Breedlove's sister Ally called the day a celebration, and said she was wearing the earrings her brother had given to her for Christmas.
At the family's request, the service was streamed live by TV station KXAN on its website.