Sydney Man Who Became Ill After Eating A Slug Passes Away

Sam Ballard seen in an earlier

One of his best friends, Jimmy Galvin, later described the moment. The promising rugby player was infected with the parasite in 2010 when he was dared to eat a slug at a friends garden party.

In 2010, Ballard, who was 19 at the time, consumed a slug on the drunken urging of friends, according to Yahoo. "Bang. That's how it happened". Sam's mother, Katie Ballard, told the news show that at first they anxious he might have multiple sclerosis, which had afflicted her husband. Doctors cleared him of that.

Medical tests ruled out that possibility and Ballard wondered if his pain was related to eating the slug.

The teenager then faced more struggles, as he became paralysed and was unable to eat or go to the bathroom by himself.

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. People can also become infected when they eat an infected slug or snail.

Though most people experience mild symptoms and recover from the infection, it changed Ballard's entire life.

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When the Daily Telegraph reached out to the NDIS, they were told that they had been "working closely with the Ballard family" to find a resolution. "And I said, 'No one gets sick from that.' He was scared, so you know, as a mum, all you want to do is reassure them".

"As far as I'm concerned he didn't do anything wrong", she said in April.

It was just a silly dare among teenage boys. Soon after the diagnosis, Sam fell into a coma, where he remained for 420 days, said Katie Ballard in the Australian news report.

He recalled apologizing to Ballard for the incident, and his friend responded by "crying his eyes out". He died in Sydney on Friday at the age of 28. The Sunday Project's Lisa Wilkinson‏ wrote in a column Monday that for almost nine years, "Sam's attractive angel of a mum Katie has been right by Sam's side as his chief carer, never wavering in her love; feeding him, wheeling him, driving him, getting him bathed and toileted, organising doctor and hospital visits, always trying to find the lighter moments so she could see her boy smile again, waking at every sound in the night, always making sure Sam's friends felt welcomed in his new, limited world".

"I try and make it matey and fun - we will crack a beer, when Katie goes out of the room, he reaches for it, he gets his lips out and sometimes we put a little bit of beer on his lips".

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