At 38 weeks pregnant, Hawaii island resident Alyx Barnett’s heart dropped in mid-March when she realized she had bit into a tiny leopard slug that was tucked into a piece of her kale salad.
Barnett considers herself lucky that she is aware of rat lungworm disease, how it’s carried by slugs that feast on vegetables and the risks she faced if exposed. But she didn’t realize what lengths she would have to go to to get medical help or cover the cost of a prescription.
Barnett, like many patients, faced hurdles in navigating the sometimes contradictory advice offered by hospitals and doctors about what to do after being exposed to the rat lungworm parasite. Further complicating the matter was her pregnancy.