A man from Australia was left disabled after eating a slug when he was a teenager.
Since then, he was getting by with support from his loving family and some loyal friends.
Sam Ballard was only 19 years old when he ingested a slug in 2010. It wasn’t an accident. He did it on purpose and for fun after being dared to do so by his colleagues.
“We were sitting over here, having a bit of a red wine appreciation night, trying to act as grownups, and a slug came crawling across here,” Jimmy Galvin, Ballard’s friend, recalled. “The conversation came up, ‘Should I eat it?’ Off Sam went. Bang. That’s how it happened.”
Shortly after ingesting the slug, Ballard fell ill and was taken to the Royal North Shore Hospital. He was diagnosed with rat lungworm or angiostrongyliasis. It is a disease that affects the spinal cord and the brain.Daily Star
“It is caused by a parasitic nematode (roundworm parasite) called Angiostrongylus cantonensis. The adult form of A. cantonensis is only found in rodents. However, infected rodents can pass larvae of the worm in their feces. Snails, slugs, and certain other animals (including freshwater shrimp, land crabs, and frogs) can become infected by ingesting this larvae; these are considered intermediate hosts,” The Hawaii Department of Health said.
“Humans can become infected with A. cantonensis if they eat (intentionally or otherwise) a raw or undercooked infected intermediate host, thereby ingesting the parasite.”Lad Bible
Many people who have the lungworm develop no symptoms, but in Ballard’s case, the microorganisms infected his brain, leaving him in a coma for 420 days.
The split-second prank left the teen quadriplegic.
Before this heartbreaking incident occurred, Ballard used to play sports, especially rugby, and stay outdoors. But now, he couldn’t move his legs. Lately, his family said that he has been able to move his arms.
Ballard, who is now 28, often experiences seizures and his body temperature is uncontrollable. A tube is the only way to bring food into his system.
“It’s devastated, changed his life forever, changed my life forever,” his mom Katie Ballard said. “It’s huge. The impact is huge.”
His friends stuck with him and supported him all the way. The horrifying incident serves as a warning to those who like to put their lives on the brink of destruction.
“Just take care of your mates,” Galvin expressed. “Before you jump off a roof into a 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.”
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