Australian man who swallowed slug on a dare dies at 28

Sam Ballard has passed away eight years after eating a slug that left him paralysed. Image 7 NewsMore

A slug crawled across the concrete patio and, teens being teens, a dare emerged for Sam to eat it.

His friend Jimmy Galvin previously revealed that he swallowed the slug while at a party in 2010.

"His last words to his mom: 'I love you, '" she posted online. "Bang. That's how it happened".

Sam Ballard with his friends before the tragedy.

According to Express, a few days later the teenager started complaining of bad pain in his legs.

He was anxious it might've been a symptom of eating the slug, but his mother told him not to worry: "No-one gets sick from that", she said.

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

He contracted eosinophilic meningoencephalitis and fell into a coma for 420 days.

Unfortunately, Ballard fell into a coma that lasted for over a year, and when he awoke he had suffered severe brain damage.

On a segment on The Sunday Project, - eight years after the dare - Lisa Wilkinson broke the news of Sam's tragic death.

"We have some sad news for you now".

Ballard was 19 and a promising rugby player when he ate the slug as a dare while hanging out with his friends.

Other close friends of Sam's admitted the "shock" they felt when visiting him in hospital.

Ballard was "surrounded by his family and loyal, loving mates" when he passed away, she said. "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".

For eight years his friends and family - led by his mother Katie - stood by him and helped him.

In extremely rare cases - like Sam's - it can cause an infection of the brain.

Ballard did, and soon after he started feeling pain in his legs; the Independent notes he also started vomiting and had dizzy spells.

"So, you know he's there", Galvin said.

Michael Sheasby said: "When I walked in, he was very, very gaunt, and there were cables everywhere". "It was a big shock".

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

"It made his day", his mates said.

'May Sam's star always shine bright, just the way it did in life, ' a mourner wrote. "He spent the afternoon laughing at me as I read him the sports section of the newspaper with new glasses on". His mother told him not to worry. He is still the same cheeky Sam, and laughs a lot. "The impact is huge".

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