Shortly before Christmas, teenager Ben Breedlove, creator of the YouTube channel BreedloveTV, posted a two-part video about his lifelong heart condition, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. It was the high school senior's most serious video and would prove to be his last.
On Christmas morning, while playing with his younger brother in the family's backyard, Breedlove succumbed to the condition that causes a thickening of heart muscle, went into cardiac arrest, and died.
In the days following, Breedlove's final two videos--in which he does not say a word but cycles through a series of flash cards to the music "Mad World" by Gary Jules--have totaled more than 2.2 million views. (His previous videos had mostly maxed out at around 20,000.)
Breedlove's family did not see the videos until the day after his death. It would be Breedlove's final gift to them. "I'm very proud of him for choosing to be so vulnerable and share something of himself that was so personal," Deanne Breedlove, Ben's mother, told CBS News.
Breedlove nearly died earlier this month, but paramedics were able to revive him at school. He describes this ordeal in his final videos, even referencing the appearance of his favorite rapper, Kid Cudi. Cudi responded on his own blog the day after Breedlove's death: "This has really touched my heart in a way I cant describe, this is why I do what I do...Thank you for loving me. To Ben's family, you raised a real hero, he's definately [sic] mine. You have my love."
While Breedlove may not have known he would die so soon after making these videos, he seemed to believe death was close in what feels like a farewell. See both parts below.