The young former Australian rugby player, Sam Ballard, who contracted ratworms after eating a slug, died last Friday 8 years after he became ill, they reported local media. Ballard passed away surrounded by his family and companions. His last words to his mother were "I love you." The tragic story goes back to 2010, when Sam accepted the challenge of his friends swallowing the mollusc in the middle of the hype on their 19th birthday, which they celebrated in Sydney. sitting here to spend a night appreciating red wine, trying to act like adults and a slug came creeping in here, "said Jimmy Galvin, one of his best friends. Moments later Sam asked if he should eat it or not. "That's how it happened," Galvin added.
Angiostrongylus Cantonensis did not get sick immediately, but complained of severe pain in the legs in the following days. He was diagnosed with an infection in the brain caused by a parasite known as Angiostrongylus Cantonensis, which was housed in the slug, after it fed on rat feces. This parasite causes a disease called 'eosinophilic meningoencephalitis', whose main symptoms are severe headache, nausea, vomiting, seizures and other neurological disorders. Although, as a rule, the disease is curable, the young Australian remained quadriplegic after spending 420 days in a coma. Katie Ballard, Sam's mother, described how difficult life had been for him. He could not eat by himself and needed help to go to the bathroom. Galvin said he apologized to Sam for not stopping him that night in 2010. When he did, Sam "started crying."