Teen rugby player left paralysed after swallowing a slug
Sydney born Sam Ballard was seen asking friends at a party if he should swallow a live slug on a dare.
SYDNEY AUSTRALIA — A young rugby player in Australia was left paralysed after agreeing to swallow a slug on a dare at a party in 2010.
Sydney native Sam Ballard, 19 at the time, was seen on a video asking friends at a party if he should swallow a live slug on a dare.
However, Sam fell ill and was hospitalised, later finding out he had become infected with "rat lungworm," which is found in faeces of rats and can be spread by slugs and snails.
Although the parasites can rarely cause infection, in Sam's case his brain was infected. He was diagnosed with eosinophilic[c] meningo-encephalitis[d] and fell into a coma for 420 days.
What made matters worse is that when Sam woke up, he found himself quadriplegic and needed 24-hour care.
Sam, who's now 28, requires a motorized wheelchair to move around, his family and friends have raised enough money to ensure he gets all the help he needs.
Sam's mom told the media that the incident has changed both of their lives, and because of Sam's condition, he has seizures and cannot control his body temperature, and he has to rely on a feeding tube.
Last year, Sam's mom was told Sam's disability insurance money was being cut to $135,000 Australian dollars, which left the family heavily in debt as they already owed nursing service $42,000. National insurance officials said they are now working closely with Sam's family to find a solution so Sam can continue to survive.
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