A man who survived an infected young teenager has revealed how doctors gave him a £ 17 million chance to survive and told his mother to "design funerals".
Liam McGuigan was 17 when he had dared swallow Slug as he was on a school football trip to Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
He now understands how incredibly lucky he is to tell his story, especially this week when Sam Ballard died of doing the same.
In those days that followed Liam's faith, Year 12 students began to feel restless. Her muscles stopped working.
"I went to the hospital and they thought it could be my addiction, so they took it out," he told news.com.au Brisbane.
The doctors were wrong. After a few hours he was in the back of an ambulance that had been disguised, freezing on the ice to lower his soaring temperature.
Liam's body was closed because he had a parasitic pad in his swallow.
When the spoon died, the worm found a new home from his spine and "basically drank his way into his brain".
Now the 27-year-old was forced to coma. The doctors at Royal Brisbane Hospital held him in coma for four weeks and pumped plenty of steroids. They told her mother "to design the funeral" and that she had a 17 million shot to survive.
Then he woke up – the shadow of his former self.
"When I got in, I weighed 85kg, when I came out of a coma, I was 38kg." He looked like a wrist, just skin to hang, "says Liam.
"I had to learn to eat, talk, walk, all over again. I knew how to do it but my brain told me about how to do it was another thing."
The staff swept the alphabet on the board in RBH next to "yes" and "no". For a week, Liam communicates this way. If he wanted water, television or toilet, he had to record it.
Speech care was monitored for four months and year 12 went out of the window. He will eventually repeat, receive a certificate and restore "99 percent" of his former life.
This week he was reminded again of how lucky he is.
Sam Ballard, 29, died on a Friday, surrounded by the family north of Sydney eight years after he drank the lazy brave.
Mr. Ballard got the same illness – eosinophilic meningo-encephalitis – and spent 420 days in a coma.
When she woke up she had a brain injury, which meant she needed 24/7 treatment and was not able to feed herself.
"We were sitting here with a little red wine understandable night, trying to get so grown up, and the ox began to crawl here," Sam's friend Jimmy Galvin said.
"The conversation came, you know." Should I eat it? "And Sam left," Pamaus said.
When the news broke up that Sam was dead, Liam's phone ignored the messages of friends with the gratitude that he did not suffer the same fate.
"All of my friends and family saw Sam's article and tagged me," Liam says. "I think it all the time, it could have been to me."
Today, Liam is a happy, healthy house painter. She is recently married. His message is simple: "Hugs not slugs."
"It was stupid, but I did not think it was dangerous," he says. "Because you're 17 years old, you stupid things. I'm lucky."
Both Sam and Liam ate the larvae carrying the rat's lungs.
The worm is usually found in rodents, but molluscs that eat rat feces can also be infected.
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The NSW Government's Health Ministry's press release states that the symptoms range from patient to patient.
Some people do not develop symptoms, others may be mild, short-term symptoms.
"Very rarely, rat lung cancer causes brain infection. People with this condition may have headaches, rigid neck, tingling pain on the skin, fever, nausea and vomiting."
The department recommends simple measures to avoid the disease. Never eat raw snails or spoons, supervise babies around the garden, wash vegetables and salad and wash your hands after the gardens.
This story originally appeared in News.com.au.