Teen fell into coma after ingesting a slug

Teen fell into a coma and was paralyzed after eating a slimy creature

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Teens are known to partake in crazy, sometimes harmful, behavior…from swallowing laundry detergent pods, to snorting condoms. One Australian teenager, who decided to eat a slimy slug, found his life forever changed. According to the Daily Star, when Sam Ballard was 19 he was messing around with some friends at a party when he decided that it would be fun to swallow a slug.

What happened next nearly claimed his life – the slug that Ballard swallowed was infected with rat lungworm, a parasitic worm of rats. Ballard fell into a coma for 420 days and when he woke up, he was paralyzed. Ballard’s mom hoped that her son, who seemed to be “invincible,” would bounce back from the devastating brain infection – but he didn’t.

So how do slugs get infected with rat lungworm? Slugs, and snails, can pick up the infection by eating the larvae of the parasitic worms. Anyone who ingest raw or under-cooked slugs or snails can run the risk of contracting the infection. Read more about rat lungworm at this link to the CDC.

And teens…the next time you are inclined to snort a condom, or pop a slug, snail or Tide pod into your mouth – just don’t.

(Screenshot via the Daily Star)

More news and updates at the National Animal News Facebook page


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2 replies
  1. Adrienne says:

    So sad and hard to believe an intelligent person would do something like that but kids do strange things and think they are invincible. Well, he is now in a place he never hoped would be his life and I hope he speaks to others about what could happen to them. One stupid mistake unknowingly cause this. Sad. Had a whole life ahead of him.

    Reply

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