Australian Who Ate Slug on a Dare Dies After Long Health Nightmare

Sam Ballard died on Friday at Hornsby surrounded by mates

Sam Ballard died on Friday at Hornsby surrounded by mates

"The conversation came, 'should I eat it?'"

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

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.

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

After 420 days in a coma Sam woke with a brain injury. The news was reported by Lisa Wilkinson, an anchor for The Sunday Project.

Sam's mother, Katie Ballard has previously spoken out about the incident, saying she didn't blame the boys for their playful dare or her son taking them up on it, and that they were just "being mates". "He contracted rat lung disease with devastating effects", Wilkinson said.

'He had an army of friends and family who have loved and cared for him for which he was truly grateful. "Sam passed away on Friday morning at Hornsby Hospital, not far from where he grew up, surrounded by 20 of those he most loved in the world", she wrote.

A friend of Mr Ballard, who was also present in the room during his final moments, confirmed the young man told his mother several times he loved her before he died. He could not eat for himself and he needed help going to the bathroom.

Mr Galvin said he apologised to his friend for not stopping him from eating the slug. When he did, the former rugby standout "just started bawling his eyes out".

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

Another close friend of Sam's, Michael Sheasby, admitted the "shock" they felt when visiting him in hospital.

But she revealed to Australian media how hard it has been for Sam, coping with the consequences of a mindless action. 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. "He spent the afternoon laughing at me as I read him the sports section of the newspaper with new glasses on".

In 2010, Australian teenager Sam Ballard did something that would change the course of his life forever. "It's huge. The impact is huge". In 2016, Katie applied to the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) after Sam became eligible for a $492,000 package, according to the outlet. Media coverage and the family's fight for additional funding and care saw the decision reversed.

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