Man dies 8 years after swallowing snail on dare that left him paralyzed

Man dies 8 years after swallowing snail on dare that left him paralyzed

A Giant African land snail is seen in Miami-Dade county on September 15, 2011. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

SYDNEY, Australia — An Australian man died Friday surrounded by family and friends eight years after swallowing a garden snail on a dare from his friends at a backyard party.

Student athlete and rugby player Sam Ballard, 28, who was 19 when he ate the snail in 2010, was paralyzed after he was infected with rat lungworm, a rare parasitic infection linked to the snail, according to the Independent.

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Ballard fell into a coma for 420 days after developing a type of meningitis, which most people recover from, but he didn't, suffering a severe brain infection instead, Sky News reported.

He was left paralyzed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair.

He died after years of medical complications.