In 2010, 19-year-old Sam, an avid rugby player, was drinking with Jimmy Galvin and several more of his Australian "mates" when a slug began crawling across Galvin's concrete patio at his home in Sydney.
Sam became gravely ill in the days after swallowing the slug.
The slug Sam ate contained the worm that is usually found in rodents but can spread to molluscs that eat the rat's faeces.
Shortly after eating the slug he was diagnosed with eosinophilic meningo-encephalitis, which later caused him to fall into a coma for 420 days, and spend three years in hospital.
"We have some sad news for you now".
Ballard's story made headlines earlier this year after medical funding used for his care and provided by the Australian government's National Disability Insurance Scheme was reduced by half; the government eventually reversed the decision following extensive media coverage and an appeal by Ballard's family, News.com reported.
"He contracted rat lung disease with devastating effects", Lisa told the show.
"His friends have stuck by him ever since". "Sam passed away on Friday morning at Hornsby Hospital, not far from where he grew up, surrounded by 20 of those he most loved in the world", she wrote.
According to Daily Mail Australia, his last words to heartbroken mum Katie were: "I love you".
For eight years his friends and family - led by his mother Katie - stood by him and helped him.
While he was initially unable to move his limbs, the former Barker College student worked hard to regain some movement.
"When I walked in he was very, very gaunt, and there were cables everywhere - it was a big shock".
Sam has passed away eight years after contracting the infection.
Sam's mother, Katie Ballard has previously spoken out about the incident, saying she didn't blame the boys for their playful dare or her son taking them up on it, and that they were just "being mates".
"Physios had Sam standing in the frame at the gym", she wrote.
"Told him it was the stress of the last 16 months that had affected my eyesight". His mother Katie, who cared for him full-time, was by his side, and Sam was able to express his gratitude to her. "It's huge. The impact is huge".
His eyes would always light up when they came around.
Last September, without warning, the NDIS texted Ms Ballard to say a review of his plan had slashed his allocation to around £75,000.