Australian man who swallowed slug on a dare dies at 28

Alicia Farmer
November 5, 2018

Sam Ballard, 28, became a paraplegic and suffered for eight years after eating the slug at a party when he was 19.

The NDIS said it had been "working closely with the Ballard family" to find a resolution and increase Sam's support package. That was when a dare came up for one of them to eat the creature. So says the host of an Australian TV show in her tribute column to Sam Ballard, a young man who took an ill-advised dare from his friends in 2010 and just died from complications related to that challenge. Off Sam went. Bang.

Another friend, Michael Sheasby, described the first time he walked into Sam's hospital room after the accident.

In the days after swallowing the slug, Ballard developed pains in his legs and was hospitalized after spells of persistent dizziness and vomiting.

In 2010, Australian teenager Sam Ballard did something that would change the course of his life forever.

Sam was anxious he might have developed Multiple sclerosis, like his father, but that was ruled out.

Within hours he fell seriously ill and it was later discovered that he had been infected with rat lungworm. From there, Ballard contracted eosinophilic meningo-encephalitis, which many people recover from.

The disease sent him into a 420-day coma and when he woke up, he was quadriplegic.

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Katie Ballard with her Sam who was left severely disabled after contracting meningitis and was in a coma for over 400 days.

"We have some sad news for you now".

Other close friends of Sam's admitted the "shock" they felt when visiting him in hospital. "On Friday, Sam passed away, surrounded by his family and loyal, loving mates", Ms Wilkinson said.

"His last words to his mum: "I love you".

His mother, Katie Ballard, noted that while he was initially unable to move, he later regained some movement.

In extremely rare cases - like Sam's - it can cause an infection of the brain.

Katie had said "he understands" everything, and his mates know that was true.

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