A man died more than eight years after being paralyzed by eating a slug.

Slugs

Slugs

Sam Ballard was 19 years old and a star rugby player when he reportedly became infected with a rat lungworm after eating a slug in a spur-of-the-moment challenge enticed by friends during a wine night in 2010.

He got sick a few days later after eating the slug and contracted eosinophilic meningoencephalitis from the rat lungworm and fell into a coma for 420 days - and due to brain damage Sam was paralyzed when he awoke.

Nearly nine years after consuming the slug, Sam died aged 28 in Sydney's Hornsby Hospital surrounded by his friends and mother.

Ballard's online obituary said: ''Sam was a true battler and hero to his younger Joshua and sister Melanie. He had an army of friends and family who have loved and cared for him for which he was truly grateful.''