Sam Ballard, who made headlines for becoming paralyzed after eating a slug, died last Friday, Nov. 2 at 29 years old.
The NDIS said it had been "working closely with the Ballard family" to find a resolution and increase Sam's support package. An obituary posted in this morning's Sydney Morning Herald stated that his "army of friends" were at his side until the end.
When he was released from hospital, three years after being admitted, his friends rallied around him and tried to raise as much money as possible to help with the medical bills, but sadly it was never enough.
'His last days were the happiest and he was surrounded by a room full of love'. The Sunday Project's Lisa Wilkinson broke the news during a sombre but brief segment. But on Friday, Sam passed away surrounded by family and friends.
But tragically, she later said his life would forever be scarred by the horror.
Sam Ballard with his friends before the tragedy.
"I apologized to Sam about everything that happened that night in his backyard", Galvin told Project.
Tributes have also poured in for him on social media. In 2011, Katie Ballard wrote on Facebook that her son was "still the same cheeeeeeeekkkyyy Sam" and that she believed he would talk and walk again.
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"He was the life of the party during the North Sydney golden era", one of them reads.
The Independent wrote, that Katie Ballard "said she did not blame the friends who dared her son at the 2010 party". Hanging out with friends one night and drinking red wine, Ballard was dared to eat a slug that was slithering across a patio.
'The conversation came up, "should I eat it?"
The teenager then faced more struggles, as he became paralysed and was unable to eat or go to the bathroom by himself.
He's now helping organise his best mate's funeral. But in the days after, Ballard began to experience serious pain in his legs and thought he might have multiple sclerosis, as his father did.
She was reassuring, but doctors soon discovered that a rare condition was taking hold of the young man's body.
The worm is generally found in rodents but slugs and snails can get infected from eating their droppings. Sam's case turned out to be a lot more severe than anticipated as it left him paralyzed from the waist down after he woke up from the coma.
"Told him it was the stress of the last 16 months that had affected my eyesight".