13-Year-Old YouTube Star Died of Undiagnosed Heart Condition, Family Says

Caleb Bratayley was a centerpiece of channel with 1.9 million subscribers

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The family of YouTube star Caleb Bratayley announced today the 13-year-old died of an undiagnosed heart ailment.

"The doctor confirmed today that Caleb passed away from a heart condition called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy that went undetected in his yearly checkups," a post on the family's Instagram revealed. "Caleb didn't have any symptoms so the doctor said there was nothing we could have done differently."

The teenager's death on Oct. 1, which was also announced on Instagram, engendered an outpouring of grief from fans, and left many unanswered questions. The final video involving Caleb was called Dear Future Self. "Unfortunately Caleb passed away the day after we made this video. He will never get to meet his future self," the family wrote as the video drew to a close.

The Bratayley family YouTube channel has more than 1.9 million subscribers, up from 1.7 million at the time of Caleb's death. The Maryland family, which is aligned with Maker Studios, has been vlogging since 2011. The stars are the children, including Caleb's younger sisters Annie and Hayley.

"The girls' hearts were just recently checked and thankfully look the way they should right now," today's Instagram post reads. "The sadness of losing someone you love is unimaginable. Thank you to everyone who has reached out, your kindness and support continues to help our family."

In an interview in 2014, mom Katie LeBlanc (the family's real last name) said she started making the videos because her husband was often away for military duty.


@ChrisAriens chris.ariens@adweek.com Chris Ariens is the managing editor and director of video at Adweek.
Publish date: November 10, 2015 https://dev.adweek.com/digital/13-year-old-youtube-star-died-undiagnosed-heart-condition-family-says-168054/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT
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