A teen in Australia became disabled after eating a slug on a dare. His life took a devastating turn when he became infected.
Sam Ballard was 19 in 2010 when he ate the poisonous garden slug, reports the Daily Star. One of Sam’s friends, Jimmy Galvin, recounted what happened that day:
“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.
“The conversation came up, ‘Should I eat it?’ Off Sam went. Bang. That’s how it happened.”
Sam was a rugby player at Barker College in Sydney, and an outgoing kid. After eating the slug, he contracted rat lungworm. In rare cases, it causes infection to the brain. Sam’s mom hoped that he would make a fast recovery. However, Sam fell into a coma for 420 days and woke up paralyzed. He became a quadriplegic.
Jimmy sends out a message of warning to others:
“Just take care of your mates. Before you jump off a roof into pool or daring your mate to eat something stupid. It can have the worse consequences not only on your mate and the rest of your friends, the rest of your life, just take care of each other.”
Sam’s friends still visit often and say that they can see bits of the old Sam:
“We like to sit down and watch the footy and watch the rugby. I try and make it matey and fun – we will crack a beer, when Katie [Sam’s mom] goes out of the room, he reaches for it, he gets his lips out and sometimes we put a little bit of beer on his lips.”
However, Sam, now 28, still sees the negative effects today. He suffers from seizures and must be fed from a tube. His family is also in debt to a nursing service by $42,000.