According to, the rugbier accepted in 2010 the challenge of eating the mollusc during a meeting with friends for his birthday. The slug carried the parasite Angiostrongylus cantonensis, commonly known as "rat lungworm", which caused a serious brain infection. sam ballard.jpg Days after the party, Sam began to feel severe pain in his legs, consulted a doctor and was diagnosed with "eosinophilic meningoencephalitis". The disease causes an increase in the amount of the eosinophilic globule in the brain and spinal fluid, which can cause a serious alteration of the nervous system, causing paralysis or even death. Ballard was in a coma for 420 days and remained paralyzed from the neck down when he was discharged from the hospital three years later. Although he had regained some mobility, the young man's case jumped into the media at the beginning of 2018 when it was learned that the National Disability Insurance of Australia had reduced the money dedicated to his care. Finally, after eight years of suffering, Sam died surrounded by his family and friends. His last words, dedicated to his mother, were "I love you". .


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