Sam Ballard dies eight years after swallowing a slug

A young man who became a paraplegic after swallowing a garden slug as a dare by his mates has died.

Sam Ballard, 28, spent three years in hospital after eating the garden slug at a party in 2010, when he was just 19.

The 'cheeky larrikin' passed away on Friday after years of medical complications following the incident.

Mr Ballard's last words to his mother Katie were: 'I love you'.

Sam Ballard (pictured), who was left a paraplegic after swallowing a slug as part of a dare at a backyard party in 2010, passed away last week

Sam Ballard (pictured), who was left a paraplegic after swallowing a slug as part of a dare at a backyard party in 2010, passed away last week

Before the dare Mr Ballard had been a promising young rugby player at his high school, Barker College, on Sydney's upper north shore. 

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

'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

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