Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Man left paraplegic after eating slug dies aged 28

Sam Ballard seen in an earlier Sam Ballard seen in an earlier
Freda Brock | 06 November, 2018, 05:18

When Sam Ballard's friends dared him to eat a slug that was crawling across the patio in 2010, the 19-year-old accepted the challenge without a second thought.

The New Zealand Herald reports that Ballard-said to be either 27 or 28-passed away eight years after his pals, during a night of drinking, egged him on to eat a slug.

Unfortunately, doctors soon discovered that he was infected with rat lungworm, a parasite usually found in rodents.

He fell into a coma for 420 days and when he woke had an acquired brain injury.

The Sunday Project's Lisa Wilkinson, who earlier this year did a segment on Sam's battle, confirmed the 28-year-old's passing in a brief segment.

"We have some sad news for you now".

Throughout the many struggles with his health, Sam's friends were still by his side and frequently visited him over the years.

Eight years after falling ill it was announced that Sam passed away on Friday, November 2.

She added: "His last words to his mum: "I love you". Meanwhile, Sam's mother does not blame his friends for his health, insisting that they were just kids who didn't know any better at that time.

While he was initially unable to move his limbs, the former Barker College student worked hard to regain some movement.

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

He said: 'When I walked in, he was very very gaunt, and there were cables everywhere - it was a big shock'.

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.

Before the accident, Mr Ballard's mother described how she saw her son as "invincible".

Wilkinson wrote that Katie was a "beautiful angel" who was "never wavering in her love" and "always trying to find the lighter moments so she could see her boy smile again".

"Told him it was the stress of the last 16 months that had affected my eyesight". "He is still the same cheeky Sam, and laughs a lot", she wrote. It's huge. The impact is huge, ' she said.

He spent the next three years in a hospital.

Katie applied to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in 2016 and Sam was granted a AUD $492,000 package.

Last September, without warning, the NDIS texted Ms Ballard to say a review of his plan had slashed his allocation to around £75,000.

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