Sam's story (part 1)

Flying Sam home

Sam Bloom led an incredibly active life with surfing, mountain biking and running being a normal part of her daily activities. Growing up on Sydney’s northern beaches, the beach was her life and continued her active lifestyle with her husband Cameron and their three children.

In January 2013 the Bloom’s decided to go on a trekking holiday to remote Thailand. After months of planning they finally arrived at remote Ban Krut beach in Thailand.

Just days into the idyllic holiday, Sam’s life would change forever. Sam and her three sons ventured to the rooftop of their hotel overlooking the beach to enjoy the view. When they got up there, Sam leant against what appeared to be secure metal railing. Seconds later Sam was lying motionless on the ground; she had just fallen 6 metres off the rooftop and landed on her back.

Sam was rushed by ambulance to a rural hospital, where she was stabilised, before being taken to a larger private hospital. This is where Cameron first got in contact with the QBE Travel Assist team, who immediately recognised the severity of the injury and seriousness of the case.

After talking with Cameron and the doctors about the complexity of Sam’s injuries, our team recommended she be taken to a hospital in Bangkok where she could undergo surgery from experienced surgeons. Getting to the hospital however, meant that Sam would have to endure a four hour journey by road in the back of an ambulance.

Following lengthy discussions with medical staff at the rural hospital and our team, Cameron decided he wasn’t comfortable with having Sam moved to Bangkok as her condition was still unstable. Our team understood that whilst this wasn’t part of the normal claims procedure, there was more to it than just the ‘process’, that Cameron knew Sam and understood what was important for her at the time. We respected Cameron’s request and accepted his decision.

Once Sam underwent surgery and was stable enough to return to Sydney, our team transported her in first class with a medical escort. Upon returning home Sam was transferred to the Royal North Shore Hospital in North Sydney, here she would learn the diagnosis that would change her life forever.

Sam was eventually transferred to Ryde Royal Rehabilitation Centre where she underwent months of intense rehabilitation. It was in rehabilitation, when Sam realised how challenging this was going to be, not only physically, but perhaps even more so mentally. Her active lifestyle had been taken away in a split second.

Watch Part 2 of Sam's story >>