A friendly dare went terribly wrong eight years ago when 19-year-old Sam Ballard ate a slug that was carrying a deadly parasite that left him paralyzed.
"One of his friends there in the room continued, "He had his voice and he said 'I love you" several times to Katie'". "We were sitting over here, having a bit of red wine appreciation night, trying to act as grown-ups", recalled Galvin in a video interview earlier this year with Lisa Wilkinson of the Sunday Project, a current affairs talk show that airs on Network 10 in Australia.
'The conversation came up, "should I eat it?" "Bang. That's how it happened".
Back in 2011, Mr Ballard's mother shared a post to Facebook outlining how his condition had changed their lives.
Another close friend of Sam's, Michael Sheasby, admitted the "shock" they felt when visiting him in hospital. 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.
She said the boys were just "being mates" and she couldn't hold them at fault.
However, she added, Sam's illness hit the family hard.
When Sam was released from a Sydney hospital in a wheelchair three years after becoming ill, his mates were determined to be there for him.
Ballard had to be tube-fed and required 24/7 care because his body could not regulate temperature. In 2016, Katie applied to the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) after Sam became eligible for a $492,000 package, according to the outlet.
But in October, 2017, that was reviewed and slashed by more than half.
The health agency noted most people make a full recovery, but the parasite can be lethal.
In extremely rare cases - like Sam's - it can cause an infection of the brain. "When it gets to the brain, you can have eosinophilic meningitis", Walden told CNN previously, which is an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. A New Orleans boy contracted the parasite in 1993 by eating a snail "on a dare", according to the agency, but did not need treatment. The New South Wales Ministry of Health said in a fact sheet that most people who contract it do not experience any symptoms; when they do, the symptoms are usually temporary and mild, the health agency said.
The massive funding cut was without explanation and around-the-clock care means the Ballard family are heavily in debt and now owe a nursing service £25,000.