Family comforted by seeing teen son's near-death videos for the first time
The family of a teenager who filmed his near-death experiences have told how they were "brought to tears" when they saw them for the first time on YouTube.
By the time Ben Breedlove's parents discovered the videos on Monday, the recordings of their 18-year-old son talking about his impending death had already gone viral.
But his parents said the home movies made them feel as if he was only talking to them.
"They were brought to tears, seeing their son again. And they too were amazed at the depth he showed in this video," Ben's sister Ally, 19, told People magazine.
The videos were found the day after Ben died on Christmas Day of a heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
"Ben told us he wanted to go back, of the peace he experienced and how he wanted to go back to that place. And that he was ready," said Ally.
"And I personally think he left it for us to find. This was his way of leaving us with something that we would need."
Ben, from Austin, Texas, had a heart attack and died on Christmas Day after cheating death three times, but his videos of his near-death experiences moved more than three million viewers.
His parents only found out about the videos once they went viral. Sister Ally said that Deanne and Shawn Breedlove were "amazed" at the depth of their son's thoughts.
At last Thursday's funeral service – which was broadcast live by TV station KXAN – Austin's Gateway Church pastor John Burke said Ben "loved life and he loved God" - and added that he hoped everyone can find a similar peace.
Ben captured the world's attention in a series of videos in which he offered relationship advice and talked about his health.
He described three near-death experiences, when he was four, 14 and less than a month ago.
When he was four he remembered seeing a big bright light above him while he was being moved on a stretcher down a hospital corridor.
Of this experience, he wrote: "I then looked in the mirror, I was proud of myself of my entire life, everything I have done. It was the BEST feeling."