Australian man who swallowed slug on a dare dies at 28

Australian man who swallowed slug on a dare dies at 28

Last week, eight years after he fell ill, Ballard passed away at the age of 28.

Ballard passed away at a Sydney hospital and was with 20 of his family and closest friends, according to TV host Lisa Wilkinson yesterday, November 5. In 2011, Katie Ballard wrote on Facebook that her son was "still the same cheeeeeeeekkkyyy Sam" and that she believed he would talk and walk again.

The teenager actually told his mother Katie the symptoms might have been caused by the slug, but she couldn't believe it.

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.

It read: 'Sam was a true battler and hero to his younger brother Joshua and sister Melanie. "He had an army of friends and family who have loved and cared for him for which he was truly grateful", the post said. "Katie tells me the room was so full of love".

Mr Ballard's funeral will be held on Thursday.

'That's awful, my son shared his room with him at the Ryde rehabilitation centre.

Our condolences go out to Sam's friends and family. (Supplied) Aged 19 Mr Ballard ate a garden slug at a party as a joke, and was paralysed.

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The Independent wrote, that Katie Ballard "said she did not blame the friends who dared her son at the 2010 party".

"We were sitting over here having a bit of a red wine appreciation night, trying to act as grown up and a slug came crawling across here", he said. The conversation came, 'should I eat it?' Off Sam went.

According to Lisa Wilkinson, Sam's last words to his mother were, "I love you". That's how it happened'. But after swallowing the slug, Ballard contracted a rat lungworm - a parasitic worm (Angiostrongylus cantonensis) that lives in rodents and can be passed onto snails and slugs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

From a robust rugby player, Ballard would face several medical complications, such as contracting a form of meningitis and lapsing into a coma for 420 days.

Others online who payed tribute to the young man urged his friends to celebrate his life after all the hardships.

Once a keen rugby player, Ballard's life changed forever in 2010, when he made a decision to eat a garden slug as a dare during a party at a friend's house.

'Rest In Peace Sam.

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