In 2010, Sam Ballard and his friends drank in the patio of one of them's house Sydney, Australia., When they saw a snail on the ground.
Meets the challenge to eat a leech and die
Ballard He decided to grab the slimy creature and eat it, as part of a challenge between friends. He had no idea that the slug had a life-threatening worm that would keep him in a coma for over a year and paralyze his body before his death.
We sat here, with a little wine, and tried to behave like adults, "Galvin recalled this year in a video interview with Lisa Wilkinson of" The Sunday Project. "" Then the conversation came: " Do I have to eat it? "And then Sam went and did it."
A few days after the snail swallowed, Sam began to complain of a severe pain in the leg, according to & # 39;The Sunday project& # 39 ;. Sam's mother, Katie Ballard, said she was worried at first that she might have multiple sclerosisbut the doctors have thrown it away.
Then Sam told his mother that he had eaten a snail. The doctors diagnosed that he was the rat lungworm (known as mouse longworm) of the infected snail, changing his life forever.
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What is rat lungworm disease?
It is a worm It infects the lungs of rodents and spreads in a cycle that usually includes this kind of animals, as well as snails, freshwater crabs, shrimps, prawns or frogs.
the rats infected worm larvae spread through their droppings or other secretions and develop when they come into contact with snails who absorb these wastes. Later, adult larvae infect the mice when they devour the snails and complete their cycle.
Rat lung infected by larvae of rat lungworm (Yahoo News)
The rat lung worm is a parasite of tropical climates that, in the case of human infection, can cause gastrointestinal diseases and lead to meningitis, a disease that can be severely complicated and even fatal.
According to Heather Stockdale Warden, assistant professor at the Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathology at the University of Florida, larvae of the worm do not cross the digestive tract and are directly housed in the brain.
When it reaches the brain, you may have eosinophilic meningitis, & Walden said, & # 39; an inflammation of the membranes around the brain and spinal cord. & # 39;
Snails infected by the lungworm of rats on Hawaii (Hawaii Health Department)
Specialists in the matter advise not to take it freshwater shrimp, terrestrial crabs, frogs or lizards follow raw or insufficiently cooked.
Vegetables or vegetable juices that may have been in contact with sources of contamination of the worm should not be taken raw, and in general it is recommended to wash thoroughly vegetables and fruit before you eat them
Strange parasite strikes couple by walking barefoot on the beach
It can be deadly
Shortly after diagnosis of infection by mouse longworm, Sam fell into it coma and stayed in that state for 420 days, until he woke up paralyzed, unable to eat without a tube or to move without intense effort.
However, the disease had no effect on them spiritual abilities, according to friends and family who constantly said that they reacted emotionally to their dialogues.
Sam Ballard with his mother, Katie Ballard, in April 2018; eight years after infection (time)
It is there, one hundred percent, "Galvin told The Sunday Project. "" I apologized to Sam for everything that happened in the backyard that night. And he just started to cry. I know it's there. & # 39;
Last week & # 39; The Sunday Project & # 39; reported that Sam died in the hospital of Hornsby, not far from where he grew up, surrounded by 20 lovers for him.
A funeral service will be held for Sam on Thursday, according to the Galvin Facebook page.
– The project (@theprojecttv) November 5, 2018
With information from BBC World and Yahoo News