I’m not sure if I would ever have classified eating a slug as a good idea, but despite it being completely and utterly rank, I don’t think participating in the gross act would ever have left me disabled for the rest of my life.
Unfortunately, Australian teenager Sam Ballard wasn’t so lucky – ending up in a wheelchair after he swallowed a slug whole at a 19th birthday party following a dare from one of his mates. He was diagnosed with rat lungworm, which went on to cause an infection in his brain and led him to fall into a coma for 420 days after contracting a strain of meningitis. I bet whoever dared him to eat that slug feels like the biggest dickhead in history now.
After Sam awoke he spent three years in hospital recovering and now has to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life and still faces regular seizures as well. However, the biggest problem he now faces is the fact that his disability allowance has been cut by the government. He had been receiving £300,000 a year but this was slashed to £75,000.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme is apparently working to try and help the situation with Sam’s family, but they’re currently unclear about how this will happen. The fact that he requires around the clock supervision has meant that they’re already £25,000 in debt and this is continuing to pile up massively.
I hope they can sort it out because even though Sam’s much better than he was nine years ago when he first swallowed the slug, he still clearly needs a lot of help in all aspects of his life. It’s probably made worse by the fact that the condition is a complete fluke, as people that contract a lungworm very rarely even show any symptoms.
Tragic, but I suppose it’ll teach people to never risk eating slugs – if they needed to be taught that in the first place. For more slugs though, check out some luminous pink slugs from Australia. Wow.