In 2010, 19-year-old Sam Bullard ate a snail in a venture. He drank with a handful of friends as the slug crawled across his terrace. In a video interview, friend Jimmy Galvin said last year, "We sat over here, had some red wine appreciation and tried to act as adults … And then the conversation came:" Should I eat it? "And then Sam went and went, that's how it happened."
On Friday, Ballard died of rat lungworm disease at the age of 28.
Here is what you need to know
1. He got a rat lungworm after eating a snail in his friend Jimmy's house
Not long after graduation, Sam spent time in 2010 at his friend Jimmy's house. He hung out with a group of friends in the backyard when they spotted a snail. The friends then ventured to eat the slug, and Sam was the one to do it.
Not long after the slug had eaten, Sam went bad. He mentioned to his mother and doctors that he had previously eaten a snail. The doctors found that Sam was infected with the rat's lungworm disease.
According to NSW Health, the disease is commonly found in snails and snails after rat droppings. People may allegedly become infected after eating snails that contain larvae of the lungworm or after eating unwashed lettuce contaminated by snails or snails. The parasite is more common in Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands and Australia. The store writes that "only occasionally" the infection is fatal and rarely causes an infection of the brain.
2. He was in a coma for 420 days
After being diagnosed with eosinophilic meningoencephalitis, a form of meningitis caused by eating a contaminated snail, Sam went into a coma for 420 days.
When he woke up, according to the Independent, he had a serious brain injury and became a quadriplegic. Complications from his previous illnesses left him "in constant care".
Lisa Wilkinson, who wrote an article about Sam for Ten Daily, wrote: "While the doctors had managed to save him in time, he was now trapped in a wheelchair with limited communication skills and needed 24 hours a day, seven-day care to week. "Three years after his illness, he was released from hospital and received a motorized wheelchair.
3. He died surrounded by loved ones
According to Ten Daily, Sam died Friday morning at Hornsby Hospital. He was surrounded by "20 people he loved the most."
Katie, his mother, tells Ten Daily that "the room was so full of love".
His mother was his main caregiver for almost nine years. Wilkinson writes, "Sam's beautiful angel of a mother, Katie, was right next to Sam as his nurse and never wavered in her love. fed him, turned him, drove him, brought him to bathe and go to the toilet, organized medical and hospital visits, always trying to find the brighter moments, so that she could see her boy smile again, woke up with every sound in the night and always caring for Sam's friends felt welcome in his new, limited world. Whenever they visited, as usual, Sam's eyes were always bright. "
4. He was a rugby player
Sam was a promising rugby player.
He was a student at Barker College.
In March of this year, News.com.au published an article detailing how Sam fights the government after funding for his hospital care has been cut. In 2016, Katie applied to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) after Sam qualified for a $ 492,000 package.
In September 2017, she was told without warning that the funds would go down to $ 135,000. News.com.au writes: "The massive cut in funds was unexplained, and the care of the Ballard family is in high debt 24 hours a day. They owe a nursing service $ 42,000. "
When the Daily Telegraph approached the NDIS, they were told that they had "worked closely with the Ballard family to find a solution. It is unclear which solution was taken.
5. His last words to his mother were: "I love you"
According to Lisa Wilkinson, Sam's last words to his mother were, "I love you."
His friend added, "He had his voice and he said to Katie" I love you "several times."
He was 29 years old.