Australian Who Ate Slug on a Dare Dies After Long Health Nightmare

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Australian Who Ate Slug on a Dare Dies After Long Health Nightmare

"And I said, 'No one gets sick from that.' He was scared, so you know, as a mum, all you want to do is reassure them".

Sam's last words were reserved for his mum, Katie.

As friends make preparations for his funeral, to be held this Thursday, tributes are beginning to flow.

Sam has passed away eight years after contracting the infection. In it, she described him as "remarkable".

She later said the accident completely changed his life.

Katie Ballard also told Ten Daily "the room was so full of love".

Sam Ballard, 28, died on Friday at Sydney's Hornsby Hospital after battling with a condition contracted from rat lungworm in 2010.

Friends Jimmy Galvin and Michael Sheasby told The Project, in April this year, of the fateful night.

"I have rarely met a finer group of young men", Wilkinson wrote.

Mr Galvin told Wilkinson earlier this year how the dare came about.

In a news report on Ballard, one of his friends explained they were "having a wine appreciation night" when he took on the dare.

"He had his voice and he said "I love you" several times to Katie". "Bang. That's how it happened".

Sam became ill the day after eating the slug.

The rat lungworm,Angiostrongylus cantonensis, is a parasite that typically lives in rats, slugs, and snails.

The unusual and sad case occurred because, along with the slug, Ballard had swallowed a parasite called Angiostrongylus cantonensis, commonly known as rat lungworm, which the slug likely picked up from rat droppings, according to the U.K.'s EveningStandard.

He subsequently fell into a coma for 420 days after contracting eosinophilic meningoencephalitis - a strand of meningitis. His mother, Katie Ballard, who cared for him full-time, was by his side.

Over the past decade, he regained some use of his arms and legs but required assistance to eat and use the bathroom.

When his friends visited, they said his face lit up and he was very much "still there".

He later added: "We like to sit down and watch the footy and watch the rugby".

Sam's mother, Katie Ballard has previously spoken out about the incident, saying she didn't blame the boys for their playful dare or her son taking them up on it, and that they were just "being mates".

'May Sam's star always shine bright, just the way it did in life, ' a mourner wrote.

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