Eight years ago in 2010Sam Ballard(Sam Ballard) was the most ordinary young Australian. The cheerful guy loved to play rugby and have fun with his peer Jimmy Galvin and other friends.
Late one evening, Sam, Jimmy and a few other boys and girls were sitting at Jimmy's house drinking red wine.
And suddenly someone noticed a large slug crawling along the wall.
The guys started joking and suddenly the conversation turned to the topic of who can eat this slug alive. Jimmy Galvin started teasing Sam if he could do it. And while the others were still exchanging jokes, Sam took the slug and swallowed it.
After some time, when Sam had already forgotten about this incident, his health began to deteriorate. weakness and severe pain in the legs appeared. Sam's mother had already decided that her son inherited multiple sclerosis from his father, but at the hospital the doctors said that it was not a matter of sclerosis.
When Sam got even worse, he could not stand it and told his mother that he had eaten a live slug shortly before the illness. The mother dismissed this, saying that they do not get sick from this. However, then doctors discovered in Sam's body a nematode of the species Angiostrongylus cantonensis.
These parasites live in slugs, snails, shrimps or frogs, and rats are the main carriers of it. When a worm enters the human body, it can settle in the eye or other organs, but it is often found in the brain, like in Sam Ballard's.
The worm causes a disease called angiostrongylosis, in which the lining of the brain becomes inflamed. A person begins to feel nausea, vomiting, headaches, and muscle pains.
Most often, this disease can be cured, but sometimes it takes very severe forms and unfortunate Sam got exactly this percentage. When his condition worsened, he fell into a coma and stayed in it for over a year - 420 days. And when he woke up, he was only a pitiful likeness of the person he was before.
Sam was almost completely paralyzed and could not even eat on his own. He had to be fed through a tube. He required care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. At the same time, his family assured that Sam understands everything and that the disease did not affect his intellect.
When Jimmy Galvin found out what a terrible illness had happened to his friend and that it was precisely because of the slug, he went to the hospital to Sam and apologized for his behavior. But Sam got so nervous that he became hysterical and started twitching and screaming.
The disease tormented Sam for 8 years and on November 2, 2018, he died in a hospital ward, surrounded by his parents and friends.