Breedlove, 18, tells his story with simple note cards and occasional smiles, moving away from the camera only to show the scar from when a pacemaker was implanted to help his damaged heart.
It is a remarkably hopeful video, though Breedlove also describes the fear he lived with after being born with a serious heart condition and his disappointment at not being able to play sports and “be the same as everyone else”.
“The first time I cheated death was when I was four,” one card says. Breedlove had a seizure and as nurses rushed him down a hospital hallway, he told his mother of the bright light overhead.
She said she couldn’t see anything, but he felt his fear and worries wash away and couldn’t help smiling. “I can’t even describe the peace, how peaceful it was,” he wrote. “I will NEVER forget that feeling or that day.”
Breedlove nearly died again a few months ago when his heart stopped during a routine surgery to remove his tonsils.
Then on December 6 he was at his high school and felt dizzy. He passed out and when he woke up, he couldn’t talk or move. He watched paramedics put shock pads on his chest and heard them say his heart had stopped and he had no pulse.
“I really thought to myself, this is it, I’m dying,” he wrote. “The next thing that happened I’m not sure if it was a dream or vision. But I was in this white room. No walls, it just went on and on …”
He found himself with his favourite rapper, Kid Cudi, and they wore “really nice suits”. “I had that same feeling, I couldn’t stop smiling. I then looked at myself in the mirror and I was proud of MYSELF. Of my entire life, everything I have done. IT WAS THE BEST feeling.”
Kid Cudi put his hand on his shoulder and then Breedlove’s favourite song came on, the part where Cudi raps “when will this fantasy end … when will the heaven begin?” Cudi told him “Go now” and Breedlove woke up.
After viewing the video, the rapper said he broke down in tears.
“This has really touched my heart in a way I can’t describe … this is why I do what I do. Why I write my life, and why I love you all so much,” Kid Cudi wrote on his blog.
Breedlove ended his video with four final cards: “I didn’t want to leave that place. I wish I NEVER woke up. Do you believe in angels or God? I Do.” He posted his video on YouTube on December 18 and died on Christmas Day.