AUSTIN (KXAN) - The story of Austin's Ben Breedlove has stirred deep emotions and feelings online and on the air.
The 18-year old Westlake High School senior died on Christmas Day from a congenital heart condition.
Breedlove made silent videos before his death describing his struggles and the peace he felt during previous near-death experiences.
People say the story has moved them like no other before.
Although Breedlove had trouble with his heart, he never stopped speaking from the heart.
From his home on Lake Austin, he offered advice about dating, school work and his congenital heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy via his own YouTube channel.
In the last two YouTube videos he made, Breedlove described how happy and peaceful he felt when he nearly died three times before, from age 4 until most recently in early December when he collapsed at school.
"I thought his story was very inspiring and it just touched me," said Katelyn Goldsberry.
People around the world have made flashcard videos on social media outlets in tribute to Breedlove. The hashtag #RIPBenBreedlove has many times trended worldwide since news of his death and story has spread.
Breedlove's story has made national and international headlines. Following his funeral service in Austin Thursday, KXAN was with his family as they smiled while watching the story about Ben on NBC Nightly News.
Breedlove's powerful message has stirred feelings and emotions in people of all ages and faiths. His final question on the last video he taped asked the masses: "Do you believe in Angels and God? I do."
"It really made me even as a Christian look back on my life and see what I need to change and the differences I need to make to impact others the way he did," said Analisa Gonzalez.
Breedlove not only lived on Lake Austin, he also played and prayed there -- which is what people are responding to. The wisdom in the 18-year-old's message is to focus on what's important, enjoy life and concentrate on what matters most, despite the challenges one faces.
"It just teaches people to live every day and even in you're not having a good day just be happy that you're blessed with another day," Angie Barrett.
University of Texas System regents say they're planning to discuss the employment of Austin campus President Bill Powers, who has sparred with lawmakers and critics over his job in recent years.
Just in time for the holidays, Texas is making sure everyone remembers that wishing someone "Merry Christmas" is now protected by law in its public schools.
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