Teen who ate slug for £10 dare reveals he nearly died like tragic rugby player

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/teen-who-ate-slug-10-13576837

A 27-year-old man has revealed he almost died after he ate a slug for a £10 bet.

Liam McGuigan, from Queensland, was on a school football trip when a mate said he’d offer him the cash to eat the slug.

The then-17-year-old thought ‘it won’t kill me’ and swallowed it.

However in the days that followed Liam started feeling lethargic and his muscles stopped working.

He told news.com.au: “I went to hospital and they thought it might be my appendix. So they took that out.”

But the doctors were wrong and within hours he was naked in an ambulance with paramedics trying to reduce his temperature.

The slug he had eaten carried a parasitic worm – and it was shutting down his body just like tragic teen Sam Ballard – who also ate a slug for a dare.



Tragic rugby player Sam Ballard died eight years after he ate a slug for a dare

When the slug died, the worm found a new home in his spinal cord and “basically ate its way up to my brain”, said Liam.

The now-27-year-old fell into a coma and doctors at Royal Brisbane Hospital kept him in it for four months and pumped his body full of steroids.

His mother was told to to “plan his funeral” and that he had a one-in-17 million shot at surviving.

Then he woke up — a shadow of his former self.

“When I went in, I weighed 85kg. When I came out of the coma, I was 38kg. My thigh looked like my wrist, just skin hanging off it,” Liam said.



Sam’s tragic tale reminds Liam how lucky he is

“I had to learn how to eat, speak, walk, everything all over again. I knew how to do it but getting my brain to tell my body how to do it was another thing.”

Speech therapy followed for four months and after much hard work he has now regained “99 per cent” of his former life.

Last week he was reminded of how lucky he is.

Sam Ballard, 29, died on Friday surrounded by family in Sydney’s north, eight years after he ate a slug as a dare.

Mr Ballard contracted the same disease — eosinophilic meningo-encephalitis — and spent 420 days in a coma. When he woke, he had an acquired brain injury that meant he needed 24/7 care and could not feed himself.



Sam Ballard before he became a quadriplegic

When news broke that Sam had passed away, Liam’s phone lit up with messages from friends thankful that he didn’t suffer the same fate.

“All my friends and family saw Sam’s article and tagged me in it,” Liam said. “I think about it all the time. That could’ve been me.”

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