Man who became paraplegic after swallowing garden slug dies aged 28

06 November, 2018, 05:16 | Author: Dominic Spencer
  • Sam Ballard has passed away eight years after eating a slug that left him paralysed. Image 7 NewsMore

A young rugby player who was left paralysed after eating a slug for a dare has died. After some banter, the then 19-year-old ate it.

'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, ' Mr Galvin said.

One of his friends who was in the hospital room on Friday said, "He had his voice and he said "I love you" several times to Katie".

An Australian man whose life was ruined after being dared to eat a slug has died following a long heath battle that left him paralyzed and brain damaged. "Bang. That's how it happened".

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

He was anxious it might've been a symptom of eating the slug, but his mother told him not to worry: "No-one gets sick from that", she said.

Lungworm is a condition often found in rodents, but it is also possible for slugs and snails to carry the disease.

Most people will develop no symptoms at all from ingesting the parasite and will fully recover without treatment. When he woke up 420 days later he'd acquired a brain injury. He could not eat for himself and he needed help going to the bathroom.

"He had an army of friends and family who loved and cared for him for which he was truly grateful", the obituary read.


He lost his fight for life on Friday and his last words to his mother were "I love you".

The Sunday Project host Lisa Wilkinson confirmed the tragic news.

She said the group of friends that were there that night were as good as it gets. Ballard "just started bawling his eyes out".

"So you know he's there", Mr Galvin said.

Before the accident, Mr Ballard's mother Katie described how she saw her son as "invincible", writing in a 2011 Facebook post that she hoped he would walk again.

Mr Ballard's funeral will take place on Thursday at the Palm Chapel at Macquarie Park Crematorium, to which the public are invited and encouraged to wear a "splash of red or blue".

"Physios had Sam standing in the frame at the gym", she wrote.

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".

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