His close friends, many of whom were present at the party on a fateful night in 2010, stuck around for him. Sadly, after eight years of medical complications and life in a wheelchair, Sam passed away on Friday last week.
While he was initially unable to move his limbs, the former Barker College student worked hard to regain some movement.
The news show announced in a blog post that Ballard died Friday, almost nine years after the fateful night.
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They'd watch footy like they used to and share a beer, even if that meant just a sip for Sam when Katie left the room. "When they visited, as they did often, Sam's eyes would always light up". Though she had hoped that her son might learn to walk again, Ballard was never able to recover from the impact of eating a slug, before his death.
"No one gets sick from that", she told him.
"Physios had Sam standing in the frame at the gym", she once wrote on Facebook. But she revealed to Australian media how hard it has been for Sam, coping with the consequences of a mindless action.
Katie spent years fighting for adequate care for Sam after 2010.
Katie applied to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in 2016 and Sam was granted a AUD $492,000 package. As a result of media coverage, the decision was later reversed, according to the Grafton Daily Examiner.