Sam Ballard, an aspiring rugby player from Sydney, Australia, never imagined that a silly thing like swallowing a garden snail at a party would end up ruining his life and leave him quadriplegic.
Sam’s life took a devastating turn in 2010. He was at a friend’s party drinking red wine, when someone brought out a seemingly harmless garden snail and dared him to eat it. “Eat it, I dare you,” his friend said, and never one to back off from a challenge, Sam just swallowed it whole and, after having a good laugh with his mates, went back to the party. The teen didn’t give this silly dare a second thought, but he soon fell ill and had to be taken to the hospital, where doctors discovered that he had become infected with rat lungworm.