A young Australian man who ate a garden slug as a dare has died, eight years after the incident.

Sam Ballard from Sydney was 19 when he ate the slug while hanging out with his friends.

He later complained of intense leg pain and quickly fell ill.

Image Source: The Daily Telegraph

The sport-loving teen was rushed to hospital where it was discovered that he had been infected with rat lungworm.

The parasite is commonly found in rats, but snails and slugs can carry it if they come into contact with rat droppings.

It causes a form of meningitis which many people recover from but Sam didn’t.

Unfortunately, he fell into a coma which lasted for 420 days and when he woke up he had suffered severe brain damage.

He struggled to speak or move his limbs and required 24-hour care 7 days a week.

Earlier this year, Sam’s mother Katie Ballard told Australia’s Channel 10 how tough life had been for her son after the dare, but said he understood everything that was said to him.

It’s reported that Sam’s friends had stuck by him and he passed away, surrounded by his family and loyal, loving mates.

His last words to his mum were ‘I love you’.”