He ate a slug on a dare, became paralyzed and died

Sam Ballard died on Friday

Sam Ballard died on Friday

The NDIS said it had been "working closely with the Ballard family" to find a resolution and increase Sam's support package.

He said: "We were sitting, having a bit of a red wine appreciation night, trying to act as grown-ups and a slug came crawling across".

One of his best friends, Jimmy Galvin, later described the moment.

Sam Ballard, 28, a promising rugby player from Sydney, ate the slug while enjoying a few red wines with his friends in 2010. The conversation came up, you know. Bang. That's how it happened'.

According to Express, a few days later the teenager started complaining of awful pain in his legs.

In 2010, Australian teenager Sam Ballard did something that would change the course of his life forever. Fearing it could have been Multiple Sclerosis (MS) like what his father had, Sam's mother took him to the doctor.

He was later diagnosed with eosinophilic meningo-encephalitis contracted from rat lungworm which is usually found in rodents by snails and slugs can also be infected when they eat rat faeces.

Sam Ballard was left paralysed after contracting eosinophilic meningoencephalitis - a strand of meningitis.

He fell into a coma for 420 days and when he woke had an acquired brain injury.

Last week, eight years after he fell ill, Sam died.

On a segment on The Sunday Project, - eight years after the dare - Lisa Wilkinson broke the news of Sam's tragic death.

"We have some sad news for you now".

Ballard's story made headlines earlier this year after medical funding used for his care and provided by the Australian government's National Disability Insurance Scheme was reduced by half; the government eventually reversed the decision following extensive media coverage and an appeal by Ballard's family, News.com reported. "He contracted rat lung disease with devastating effects", Wilkinson said.

Throughout the many struggles with his health, Sam's friends were still by his side and frequently visited him over the years. "Sam passed away on Friday morning at Hornsby Hospital, not far from where he grew up, surrounded by 20 of those he most loved in the world", she wrote.

According to Daily Mail Australia, his last words to heartbroken mum Katie were: "I love you".

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