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Lindsey Bever Washington Post
Sam Ballard swallowed the slug.
The young rugby player from Sydney was a "larrikin" – a "carefree" free spirit, said his mother. When the creature crawled across the table in 2010 and his friends dared to eat, her son accepted the challenge, she said.
"Twenty-year-old boys, red wine, alcohol that sits at a friend – the slug goes to the table, someone is trying to get courage," said his mother, Katie Ballard, in an interview for the following year. "Boys will be boys," she said.
Courage may have been quite innocent.
But after swallowing a snail, Ballard crushed the rat's pulmonary worm – a parasitic worm (Angiostrongylus cantonensis) that lives in rodents and can be transmitted to snails and slugs by disease control and prevention centers. These ulcers can then be transferred to humans.
In the unusual and tragic turn of the parasite, Ballard's brain infected – he put him in the coma for over a year and let him paralyze, according to News.com.au. He finally killed him.
Ballard, 29, died at the end of last week, according to a Sunday project. His last words to his mother were, "I love you," according to Australian news.
Ballard began to experience severe pain in his legs within a few days after eating a slug, according to a Sunday project.
He asked his mother whether this could be caused by your animal.
"No, no one gets worried about it," his mother said, telling her that she remembered the incident in an interview earlier this year.
But his doctors soon found out he'd gotten out of the hospital.
"He was afraid," said his mother in a Sunday project. "So, you know, like a mom, all you want to do is calm them down, and do nothing wrong with me, it was just a stupid thing."
– Project (@theprojecttv) April 1, 2018
Ballard, whose mother said she once looked "invincible", became four times. He had been suffering from seizures for years, forced to eat and breathe tubing, and demanded constant care that the family was trying to pay, as the Daily Telegraph reported.
In 2011, Katie Ballard wrote on Facebook that her son was "still the same cheeeeeeeekkkyyy Sam" and that she believed she would talk and walk again.
Lisa Wilkinson wrote in a column on Monday that for almost nine years, "Sam's beautiful angel Katie is right on the side of Sam as his primary caregiver and never likes her, fed him, turned him, drove him, got him bathed and reassured, medical and hospital visits, and always trying to find lighter moments to see her boy smile again as he wakes up at every sound at night, he felt in the new, limited world, and when they visited, how often, her eyes always lit up.
"And Katie was always optimistic about what the future had for her."
Ballard is dead.
The parasitic worm Angiostrongylus cantonensis lives inside the lungs of the rodents.
As the CDC explains in the video, the rodent – typically the rat – clears the worms and then swallows them into the stomach of the animal. Finally, the rat eliminates worms.
Snails or slugs can be infected by CDC infection by eating rat feces and people can become infected with snails or snails.
According to CDC:
People can become infected by eating raw or stoned snails or slugs infected with this parasite. In some cultures, snails are usually consumed. Some children, in particular, have been infected with swallowing slugs / slugs. "People can also get infected by accident by eating raw products (such as Salad) that contain a small snail or slug or part of it.
It has been found that some species of animals, such as shrimps, crabs or frogs, are infected by larvae of the parasite. It is possible that consumption of untreated or raw animals that are infected may lead to infection of humans, although the evidence is not as clear as the consumption of snails and slugs. It should be noted that this parasite does not spread the fish.
Cases have been reported in Hawaii, as well as in the continental United States, according to the CDC. The boy from New Orleans defeated the parasite in 1993 by eating a snail "in courage", according to the agency, but did not need treatment.
Australian healthcare professionals call it an "extremely rare infection".
The New South Wales Department of Health has in fact said that most people who close it have no symptoms; if so, the symptoms are usually temporary and mild, the health agency said.
According to the Ministry:
Very rarely, infection causes the so-called Eosinophilic meningoencephalitis. People with this condition may have headaches, stiff neck, tingling or pain on the skin, fever, nausea and vomiting. The time between snack or snail and disease is usually 1-3 weeks.
Anyone with these symptoms should seek a medical estimate, although other infections (such as meningococcal disease or pneumococcal disease) are more likely to cause meningitis in children.
Health officials warn people not to eat raw snails or slugs and thoroughly wash fruit and vegetables and look for slimy creatures.