Sam Ballard: Sydney man who swallowed slug passes away

Sam Ballard was left paralysed after contracting eosinophilic meningoencephalitis – a strand of meningitis. Image Facebook  Sam BallardMore

"None more so than the remarkable Sam Ballard".

He was a courageous young man. RIP Sam and condolences to his family and friends, ' another said.

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".

"As fascinating as it might be meeting such huge names, it has been the everyday people with extraordinary stories to tell who are the heart and soul of our show, and touched all of us", she wrote on Ten Daily.

Friends Jimmy Galvin and Michael Sheasby told The Project, in April this year, of the fateful night.

"They made a mistake, a spur of the moment muck around of unforeseen consequences that should not define them".

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.

"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.

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

However, shortly after eating it, Sam fell ill and was rushed into hospital.

He initially feared he might've developed multiple sclerosis, which his father suffered from, but then doctors discovered he'd been infected with rat lungworm.

Shortly after eating the slug he was diagnosed with eosinophilic meningo-encephalitis, which later caused him to fall into a coma for 420 days, and spend three years in hospital.

Katie Ballard, Sam's mother, described how hard life had been for Sam.

The odd and sad case occurred because, along with the slug, Ballard had swallowed a parasite called Angiostrongylus cantonensis, commonly known as rat lungworm, which the slug likely picked up from rat droppings, according to the U.K.'s EveningStandard.

Over the past decade, he regained some use of his arms and legs but required assistance to eat and use the bathroom.

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They'd watch footy like they used to and share a beer, even if that meant just a sip for Sam when Katie left the room.

'May Sam's star always shine bright, just the way it did in life, ' a mourner wrote.

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. "He spent the afternoon laughing at me as I read him the sports section of the newspaper with new glasses on". His mother Katie, who cared for him full-time, was by his side, and Sam was able to express his gratitude to her. It's huge. The impact is huge, ' she said.



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