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Australian Teen Rugby Player Swallowed A Slug On A Dare—And It Left Him A Paraplegic

Australian Teen Rugby Player Swallowed A Slug On A Dare—And It Left Him A Paraplegic
Updated 3 months ago

Sam Ballard was a 19-year-old kid from Sydney, Australia, a typical teenager who played rugby and hung out with his friends. In 2010 at a friend's party, someone offered up a slug and dared Sam to eat it. He did. It would prove to be a mistake. Soon after ingesting the slug, Sam fell ill and was taken to a nearby hospital were he was diagnosed with a rat lungworm infection. The worm is usually found in rodents, but slugs and snails can also carry the parasite.

It looked at first as if Sam would make a full recovery, but things took a turn for the worse. The parasite infected his brain and he contracted eosinophilic meningo-encephalitis, falling into a coma for 420 days. When he came out, he suffered seizures, and he is now confined to a wheelchair, requires 24-hour care, and has a feeding tube. 

On top of everything else, Sam, who is now 28 has had his National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) slashed from $492,000 to $135,000. The family is working with NDIS to find a solution.

In typical online fashion, some people lacked basic human compassion.

Luckily for humanity, there are some caring people left:

There was also some sound advice: