Medical

Paralyzed after eating a slug, it dies after a long agony

Paralyzed after eating a slug, it dies after a long agony

Sam Ballard, who was 19 when he unwittingly ate a diseased slug in 2010, passed away last week, according to local reports.

Sam has passed away eight years after contracting the infection.

Ballard did, and soon after he started feeling pain in his legs; the Independent notes he also started vomiting and had dizzy spells.

But the slug was the culprit, and had led Sam to contract rat lungworm, or angiostrongyliasis - a parasite carried by rats that affects the brain and spinal cord.

The former rugby player had since had limited movement in his limbs, needed help going to the bathroom and eating, and had trouble communicating, though, based on his reactions to things, "you [knew he was] there", one of his friends tells the Herald.

A young Australian man left paralyzed from swallowing a garden slug on a dare, has died after eight years.

Ballard's last words were "I love you" said to his mother several times.

The health agency noted most people make a full recovery, but the parasite can be lethal.

In the following days Mr Ballard fell ill and was told by doctors he had been infected with rat lungworm.




"We were sitting over here having a bit of a red wine appreciation night, trying to act as grown-ups and a slug came crawling across here", one of Ballard's best friends, Jimmy Galvin, told the Australian news show The Project in April.

Our condolences go out to Sam's friends and family. 'Should I eat it?' And off Sam went.

The news show announced in a blog post that Ballard died Friday, almost nine years after the fateful night. Sam slipped into a coma where he remained for a total of 420 days, but life wasn't the same after he was revived.

When his friends visited, they said his face lit up and he was very much "still there".

In a Facebook post from 2011, Ms Ballard said she hoped her son would walk again.

In their obituary, Ballard's family described him as "a true battler" whose hard final years had been brightened by "an army of friends and family".

Later, she wrote that "he is still the same cheeky Sam, and laughs a lot" but admitted "it's devastated, changed his life forever, changed my life forever. It's huge. The impact is huge".

Katie applied to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in 2016 and Sam was granted a AUD $492,000 package.

But in October, 2017, that was reviewed and slashed by more than half.