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#88 Sam Bloom | Surviving trauma to seeing her life on film | World Champion, Author

Today in the Confessional, host Sandy Lowres chats with special guest Sam Bloom. Sam’s life would be changed forever when, on a family holiday in Thailand, Sam fell 6 feet from a broken railing. Her recovery was long, involving moments of intense darkness. An unexpected visitor to the Bloom household arrived in the form of a baby native bird – a Magpie they named Penguin. Sam’s husband Cameron, a photographer, captured the most heartwarming images of Penguin with Sam and the family. Penguin would help to heal Sam, and the whole family.

Sam’s extraordinary journey was told in her best-selling book Heartache & Birdsong, and is now the focus of a beautiful film – Penguin Bloom – starring Australian Hollywood actress Naomi Watts.

Sam Bloom and Naomi Watts

Although paralysed in the accident, Sam is now a champion athlete, representing Australia in the canoe world championships and is also a 2 x World Champion Para Surfer.

She shares her journey here with honesty and an open heart.

You can follow Sam Bloom here:
https://sambloom.com.au/

Https://www.instagram.com/samjbloom
https://www.instagram.com/penguinthemagie

Photo credits: Cameron Bloom
https://www.instagram.com/cambloom

Sam Bloom | Heartache & Birdsong (Sam Bloom, Cameron Bloom and Bradley Trevor Grieve) is available here:
https://sambloom.com.au/book/

The film Penguin Bloom is now available on Netflix.


The Good Girl Confessional is proudly the Podcast of the Women Beyond Forty Platform – a platform for women 40, 50, 60 and beyond.
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Sam Bloom

The blink of an eye, a heartbeat, a split second in time. That’s all it took for Sam Bloom’s life to change forever. Sam had everything she had always dreamed of. She’d travelled extensively, fulfilled her childhood dream of becoming a nurse and was a happily married mother of three young boys. Without warning, the dream turned into a nightmare when on a 2013 family holiday in Thailand, Sam fell through a rotten balcony railing and crashed six metres onto the concrete below. Lucky to be alive, she’d suffered devastating injuries, including severe damage to her spinal cord that left her paralysed from the chest down. Broken and hopeless, Sam reached her outer limits of physical and mental suffering. But with courage, determination and a little help from an unlikely feathered friend, she made her way back from the edge, scarred but undefeated. An unlikely saviour Once her condition was stable enough, Sam returned to Australia and braved her way through months of intensive rehabilitation. She craved a return to normal life, and was finally able to come home, only to fall into a deep and consuming depression. Mourning the loss of her old life and no longer able to see purpose in her new one, she slipped further into hopelessness as her family watched on, helpless despite their best efforts. A frail, injured little magpie chick became Sam’s unexpected saviour. The ongoing journey to recovery Penguin, as the boys named her, became Sam’s constant companion and over time she brought life and laughter back into the house where sadness had reigned. From this, Sam found a renewed sense of purpose in taking up competitive paracanoeing, placing 13th in the world and winning two Australian titles before representing her country at the 2015 World Championships in Italy. Today, Sam has reconnected with her love for the ocean and made a return to surfing. In August 2018, Sam was selected as a member of the Australian Adaptive Surf Team and has since won Gold for Australia at both the 2019 and 2020 World Para Surfing Championships. The story that’s captured hearts around the world Sam’s husband Cameron, a professional photographer, documented their experience with his images forming the basis for the international bestselling book Penguin Bloom, a collaboration with New York Times bestselling author Bradley Trevor Greive. The story has now been transformed into a major film produced by Naomi Watts, with Watts also set to star as Sam. A second book, Sam Bloom: Heartache & Birdsong shares Sam’s personal perspective on facing and overcoming adversity. Read Sam's story in her own words Full story

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