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.
It’s hard to feel sympathy for anything other than the slug!— The Woman (@TheWomanHolmes) March 7, 2018
And what did we learn today class?— Jenny Talia (@JennyTalia2810) March 8, 2018
"DONT EAT SLUGS"
Well done very good.
Luckily for humanity, there are some caring people left:
Poor lad. Poor family. Very very sad story. Let's pray for a miracle.— Cascadein (@cascadein) March 7, 2018
wow I think this is one of the worst things I've ever read— Sam Roberts (@ofsaltandmoon) March 8, 2018
There was also some sound advice:
Never take a dare when there's nothing good to gain from it. Sometimes,there's really no worth to it.— A.Nixon (@nixonapun) March 9, 2018