Aussie teen who swallowed slug on a dare now disabled for life
An Australian teenager has become quadriplegic after eating a parasite-filled garden slug on a dare.
SYDNEY — A rugby-playing Aussie teen is now confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life after eating something he really shouldn't have.
The Queensland Times reports that back in 2010, Sam Ballard had picked up a garden slug during a drinking session, and turned to his buddies to ask, 'Should I eat it?'
When one mate dared him to, the then 19-year-old popped the poor slug into his mouth and swallowed — not knowing it had parasites that would later burst inside his body.
Within days, he developed severe leg pain and had to be taken to a doctor, who figured out he had a bad case of rat lungworms and a brain infection.
The parasite is typically found in rodents, but can get into slugs or snails via infected rat doo doo.
Ballard contracted eosinophilic meningoencephalitis, a type of meningitis. But instead of recovering like most people, he went into a coma for 420 days and came out of it paralyzed from the neck down.
At 28, he requires round-the-clock care, since he can't regulate his body temperature, is prone to seizures, and has to be tube fed.
It's pretty tragic, and shows just how much damage a split-second of silliness can actually cause. So next time you decide to eat a slug, please don't.
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