Nightly News | December 29, 2011
>>> back now with the remarkable story of a young man from austin, texas, who lived his life to the fullest while suffering from a dangerous heart condition that few have ever heard of. he shared his hopes and fears with friends and fans online, including a final inspiring message that has touched a lot of people. it was one of the most popular videos online today. the world listening to words from the heart.
>> thanks for watching breedrov tv.
>> reporter: from his austin, texas, home brad breedlove built a loyal following on youtube.
>> i'm here to give you the information back.
>> reporter: offering video advice on everything from school work to dating.
>> the main thing i want to go over for you girls is building up your confidence.
>> reporter: he also told the world about his life threatening heart condition .
>> it's cardio myopathy and i have a pacemaker.
>> reporter: the thickening of the heart muscle can lead to heart failure .
>> i'm not limited on anything, but i may have -- like i have to go in for check-ups and stuff. other than that it's not a big problem.
>> reporter: but it was a big problem. ben died on christmas day after a opening presents. but just before christmas, unbeknownest to anyone, ben sat down and quietly made a video with flash cards , sharing his hopes and fierce about his life long struggle with his failing heart. in his video, ben described how he had cheated death three times, beginning at age 4 and again this month when he collapsed at school. he wrote about a white light he had seen each time and the peace that he felt.
>> it was pretty overwhelming. because not only did we not know he had made it, but we could tell he was really speaking from his heart. we really appreciated the message he wanted to share with people.
>> reporter: on youtube, the world is responding. more than a million people have viewed the video. thousands have written comments and condolences, even creating their own flashcard videos. a phenomenon that didn't go unnoticed at ben 's funeral today, streamed online.
>> it seems like more than mere coincidence, the timing of everything and how ben 's message is now going literally to millions of people.
>> reporter: the unspoken words ben 's sister says, make the message more powerful.
>> i was noticing how perfect it was that he told his story through silence. and these cards instead of speaking a story because he was at peace when he was telling his story.
>> reporter: a teenager who gave advice, saving the best for last. ben breedlove was 18.