Rugby Player Swallowed a Slug as a Dare and he Ended up Paralyzed

Rugby Player Swallowed a Slug as a Dare and he Ended up Paralyzed

Sam Ballard is just a regular teenager who enjoyed playing rugby. However, his world turned upside down after he accepted a dare. Everything happened back in 2010 where he was drinking wine with his friends. At one point, one of them dared him to eat a garden slug, and he accepted.

He soon became sick and the doctors diagnosed him with rat lungworm. This warm can cause brain infections in some cases. Usually this worm can be found in rodents (hence, its name), but slugs or snails can also get it if they eat faeces of infected rats.

Sam’s life changed forever

The dare managed to destroy Sam’s life. He contracted eosinophilic meningo-encephalitis and just when it appeared that he was about to recover from it, he lapsed into a coma that lasted for 420 days. He then became a quadriplegic.

Sam’s mother confessed that his son has never been the same “It’s devastated, changed his life forever, changed my life forever. It’s huge. The impact is huge.” He was released in a motorized wheelchair, but life has never became the same for him.

Sam is now 28 and he still suffers from seizures. Additionally, he must be tube fed. Basically, he needs permanent care, and this is very expensive, although many tried to raise the money.  Sam’s mother applied for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

At first Sam was eligible for a $492,000 package, but in September last year, the National Disablity Insurance Scheme simply texted Sam’s mother, informing her that the new allocation will be $135 000, which is definitely not enough for the Ballard family.

They are currently in debt, and they are awaiting for a solution. The NDIS declared that it is trying to find a method that will increase Sam’s package once again.


I am a pop culture and social media expert. Aside from writing about the latest news health, I also enjoy pop culture and Yoga. I have BA in American Cultural Studies and currently enrolled in a Mass-Media MA program. I like to spend my spring breaks volunteering overseas.

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