Australian man who ate slug dies after eight-year paralysis

Australian man who ate slug dies after eight-year paralysis

'The conversation came up: "Should I eat it?" off Sam went.

Sydney rugby player Sam Ballard was 19 when he ate the slug on a dare from his mates in 2010.

"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", remembered Ballard's friend Jimmy Galvin in an interview with The Project.

Back in 2010, a young Australian man was having a few drinks with friends in a backyard and made a decision to eat a garden slug on a dare, only for the creature to end up paralyzing and killing him eight years later. Found in rodents, the worm can sometimes infect snails or slugs with the parasite if they consume the rodents' excrement.

When he woke from his coma, Ballard was also diagnosed with a brain injury and spent the next eight years [VIDEO] of his life needing around the clock care.

Lisa Wilkinson, a reporter who had previously covered Ballard's case, broke the news that he had passed away last week. His last words to his mother were, "I love you", according to the Australian news show.

Almost nine years after chowing down on the slug, Ballard, 29, died in Sydney's Hornsby Hospital, according to reports out of Australia, surrounded by friends and his mother, Katie Ballard.

Sam Ballard, who was a rugby player before the incident, reportedly died in a Sydney hospital on Friday surrounded by family and friends, according to the Independent. "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.

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While he was initially unable to move his limbs, the former Barker College student worked hard to regain some movement. Ballard "just started bawling his eyes out".

A friend of Mr Ballard (right), 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.

Here's what you need to know.

He said: "When I walked in, he was very, very gaunt, and there were cables everywhere". "It was a big shock". His mother reassured him that nothing was wrong.

In 2011, Katie shared a post on Facebook, maintaining hope that her "rough-and-tumble Sam" would recover.

"He is still the same cheeky Sam, and laughs a lot", she wrote. "The impact is huge".

But in October, 2017, that was reviewed and slashed by more than half.

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