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. She spent her time raising her family on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, and ran, swam, biked and surfed every chance she had. Life was bliss.

Without warning, the dream turned into a nightmare. 

On a 2013 family holiday in Thailand, Sam leant against a rotten balcony railing falling through it and crashing 6 metres onto the concrete below. 

She was lucky to be alive and had suffered devastating injuries, including severe damage to her spinal cord that left her completely 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.

Her message – never, ever give up.

An unlikely

saviour

Once her condition was stable enough, Sam returned to Australia and braved her way through seven long months of intensive rehabilitation. She craved a return to normal life, and was finally able to come home to the love of her family, only to fall into a deep and consuming depression.

Once incredibly active and fiercely independent, she was now confined to a wheelchair and completely reliant on help from others for every little thing. 

Mourning the loss of her old life and no longer able to see the purpose of her new one, she slipped further into hopelessness as her family watched on, helpless despite their best efforts. 

A frail and injured little magpie chick was Sam’s unexpected saviour. 

The ongoing

journey to

recovery

Found by her son Noah on a blustery Spring day, Penguin, as the boys named her, became Sam’s constant companion. Over time they were able to heal together and Penguin slowly brought life and laughter back into the house where sadness and sorrow had reigned.

From this, Sam found a renewed sense of purpose and strength in taking up competitive paracanoeing, eventually placing 13th in the world and winning two Australian titles before representing her country at the 2015 World Titles in Italy.

Around the same time, Penguin returned to the wild.

Today, Sam has reconnected with her love for the ocean and has her sights set on making the 2018 Australian adaptive surfing team.

Penguin Bloom,

the story that’s captured hearts

around the world.

Sam’s husband Cameron, a professional photographer, has documented their entire experience through thousands of still images and videos. These images formed the basis for the international bestselling book Penguin Bloom, a collaboration with New York Times bestselling author Bradley Trevor Greive.

The story is now being transformed into a major film produced by Naomi Watts, with Watts also set to star as Sam. A second book is to be released 2019, that picks up the story where Penguin Bloom ended, and will share Sam’s personal perspective on facing and overcoming adversity.

Read Sam's story in her own words Full story

Penguin Bloom

The story that’s captured hearts and minds across Australia and around the world.

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