Eat­ing a gar­den slug left Sam a quad­ri­plegic

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS -

IT was meant to be a harm­less prank but when 19-year-old Sam Bal­lard ate a com­mon gar­den slug he caught the in­fec­tion an­giostrongylia­sis, be­came a quad­ri­plegic and was in a coma for more than 400 days.

Now 28, Sam suf­fers seizures, can’t con­trol his body tem­per­a­ture, has to be tube fed, and needs 24-hour care.

In 2016 he be­came el­i­gi­ble for a $492,000 NDIS pack­age but af­ter a re­view last Septem­ber his fund­ing was slashed to just $188,600. His mother Katie found out about the mas­sive fund­ing cut when she got a text mes­sage from the NDIS. There was no ex­pla­na­tion as to why.

It took months be­fore she got a meet­ing with an NDIS of­fi­cial.

The Bal­lards cur­rently owe a nurs­ing ser­vice $42,000. The busi­ness is con­tin­u­ing to pro­vide care for Sam even though it has not been paid.

The NDIS said it “has been work­ing closely with the Bal­lard fam­ily” to find a res­o­lu­tion and in­crease Sam’s sup­port pack­age.

Pic ture: Danny Aarons

Katie Bal­lard with her son Sam, who was left se­verely dis­abled af­ter eat­ing a gar­den slug.

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