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Australia'Your friendship was extraordinary': Mates who dared a teenager, 19, to eat a slug which left him severely disabled lead mourners at his funeral – as his family insists they should feel no guilt

11:42  08 november  2018
11:42  08 november  2018 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Slug tragedy: Teenager left severely disabled after a dare opens up his world to viewers. SAM Ballard’s life was transformed because of a seemingly harmless teenage dare that left him SAM Ballard, who has been profoundly disabled since swallowing a garden slug at a party as a dare at 19 .

' Your friendship was extraordinary ': Mates who dared a teenager , 19 , to eat a slug which left him severely disabled lead mourners at his funeral – as Sam Ballard, 29, ate the slug in 2010 when he was 19 and contracted a parasite. He died last Friday after the lungworm left him disabled from

'Your friendship was extraordinary': Mates who dared a teenager, 19, to eat a slug which left him severely disabled lead mourners at his funeral – as his family insists they should feel no guilt© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Hundreds of mourners packed into the small chapel at Macquarie Park, in Sydney's north Sam Ballard kept a copy of the Dr Seuss book Oh the Places You'll go close to him during the eight years he struggled with severe disabilities after eating a garden slug on a dare.

The children's classic was given to him soon after the fateful 2010 incident when Sam was just 19, and over the years as he struggled with his disabilities, friends and family would read it to him, willing him to make the best of the challenges that he faced.

'Your friendship was extraordinary': Mates who dared a teenager, 19, to eat a slug which left him severely disabled lead mourners at his funeral – as his family insists they should feel no guilt© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Also among the crowd was actress Anna Bamford (left), a former girlfriend of Sam's

And as his family and friends said a final goodbye at his funeral on Thursday, the book was read one last time.

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As the family insists they should " feel no guilt ." - by Grace Back. 09 Nov 2018. Sam Ballard was just 19 when he was left severely disabled after being Since the 2010 incident, Ballard carried around a copy of the Dr Seuss book Oh the Places You'll Go. As his family and friends said a final goodbye at

' Your friendship was extraordinary ': Mates who dared a teenager , 19 , to eat a slug which left him severely disabled lead mourners at his funeral – as his family insists they should feel no guilt . Sam Ballard, 29, was mourned by hundreds at his funeral in Sydney after he was left severely

'You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose,' friend Mike Scheasby read from the book.

'You're on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the guy who'll decide where you go.'

Sam, 29, died last Friday after a brave and determined fight. He was with mates at a backyard in Sydney's north when a slug crawled past, and the group joked and dared Sam to eat it.

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Slug tragedy: Teenager left severely disabled after a dare opens up his world to viewers. SAM Ballard’s life was transformed because of a seemingly harmless teenage dare that left him SAM Ballard, who has been profoundly disabled since swallowing a garden slug at a party as a dare at 19 .

Sam contracted rat lungworm, a parasite usually found in rodents, but slugs and snails can become infected with it too. He spent 420 days in a coma before waking with severe brain damage.

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How Eating a Slug Could Kill You Years Later: The Science of Dormant Parasites A young Australian man ate a live slug on a dare. The parasite carried by that slug ended up killing him. How? On November 2, 2018 Sam Ballard was killed by something he ate in 2010. The Australian had swallowed a live slug on a dare back then. All these years later, he was diagnosed with an infection of rat lungworm, a parasite the slug had evidently been carrying. The infection caused eosinophilic meningoencephalitis, a rare kind of meningitis. As a result, Ballard fell into a coma for more than a year, endured a severe brain infection, and ended up paralyzed from the neck down.

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But at his funeral service, Sam's family insisted the mates with him that night must not ever feel any blame.

'We don't want you to feel any guilt about what happened that night,' his brother Joshua said.

Instead, Joshua praised 'Team Ballard'- the army of friends who rallied around Sam and continued to support him until his death.

'Your friendship to Sam was extraordinary,' Joshua said.

Mourners heard how before the accident, Sam was a promising junior athlete and a gifted rugby player.

Athletics coach at Barker College where Sam completed his high schooling, told the congregations how Sam regularly showed courage on the sports field.

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Adult children of healthy families don't just stop talking to their parents. Here are some of the reasons why a person walks away from a parent or stops including They had two sons together, one who is developmentally disabled . He claims his 2nd wife was wonderful to his son who visited often and

'But that was nothing compared to the courage he showed over the next eight years,' Matt Macoustra said.

Sam's mother Katie, sister Melanie and brother Joshua were joined by hundreds of friends, as well as Sam's doctors and nurses from Royal North Shore Hospital.

'Your friendship was extraordinary': Mates who dared a teenager, 19, to eat a slug which left him severely disabled lead mourners at his funeral – as his family insists they should feel no guilt© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited S's mother Katie, sister Mal

Lewis Macken, the head of the hospital's intensive care unit spoke about how Sam's 765 days in hospital had inspired his carers.

Also among the mourners were Sam's former girlfriend, actress Anna Bamford, and journalist Lisa Wilkinson.

Wilkinson revealed this week on The Project that the last words Sam said to his mother Katie, who dedicated her life to caring for her son, were: 'I love you'.

Earlier this year his mates Jimmy Galvin and Michael Scheasby told The Project of the fateful night that changed their lives.

'Your friendship was extraordinary': Mates who dared a teenager, 19, to eat a slug which left him severely disabled lead mourners at his funeral – as his family insists they should feel no guilt© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Close friends of Sam embrace each other outside the funeral service 'Your friendship was extraordinary': Mates who dared a teenager, 19, to eat a slug which left him severely disabled lead mourners at his funeral – as his family insists they should feel no guilt© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Mourners gather outside the Palm Chapel in Macquarie Park Crematorium on Thursday

'We were sitting over here having a bit of a red wine appreciation night, trying to act as grown up and a slug came crawling across here,' Mr Galvin said.

'The conversation came up, should I eat it? Off Sam went. Bang. That's how it happened.'

Sisto Malaspina's family accept state funeral offer

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Before the accident, Sam's mother described how she saw her son as 'invincible'.

'Your friendship was extraordinary': Mates who dared a teenager, 19, to eat a slug which left him severely disabled lead mourners at his funeral – as his family insists they should feel no guilt© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Sam's family embrace at the funeral on Thursday as they bid farewell alongside hundreds of others

In a Facebook post from 2011, Ms Ballard said she hoped her son would walk again.

'Sam is doing really well. He is still the same cheeky Sam, and laughs a lot. He will walk and talk again (thank god) but the time factor is was we don't know,' she wrote.

She later said the accident completely changed his life.

'It's devastated, changed his life forever, changed my life forever. It's huge. The impact is huge,' she said.

Teenager caught in rip during schoolies celebration.
The teenager swallowed a large amount of water before making it to shore and raising the alarm.

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