A man has died after eating a slug on a dare

Generic image of a slug
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AUSTRALIA (NBC NEWS) — A man in Australia is dead after swallowing a slug in a harmless dare from friends.

Sam Ballard died Friday almost a decade after he consumed a slug during the night of fun, Buzzfeed reported.

He was just hanging out in 2010 when he noticed the slug and jokingly asked, “Should I eat it?”

Just days after eating the slug, he experienced pain in his leg. Ballard feared it was multiple sclerosis, which his father suffered from, but doctors said that wasn’t the case.

In fact, it was rat lungworm, which is a rare cause of meningitis and can be carried by rodents, snails and slugs. Most people who are infected rarely experience symptoms but in rare cases, a worm can cause an infection of the brain called “eosinophilic meningo-encephalitis.” And that’s what happened to Ballard.

He fell into a coma for more than 420 days and became paralyzed.

After spending several years in the hospital with multiple medical complications, Ballard was able to undergo physical rehab and regain some movement in his limbs.

He died surrounded by his family and friends, according to the Sunday Project.

According to the Sun, "His last words to his mum: 'I love you.’"

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