Sam's story (part 2)

Sam's new life

Sam’s family holiday in Thailand took a tragic turn when she fell six metres off a balcony. The accident would leave her paralysed and change her life forever. Whilst QBE’s Travel Assist team managed to get her back home in Sydney’s northern beaches, her real journey had only just begun. (Click here to view Part 1 of Sam’s story)

What was meant to be an exciting time, returning home after six months of intense rehabilitation, turned out to be the complete opposite. As the reality of her injury and loss of independence set in, she found herself in a very dark place.

It wasn’t until a few months later, when an unlikely companion came into Sam’s life, that she started to see positives in life again. One day the Bloom’s discovered an injured magpie chick near their home. They bonded with the magpie very quickly and named her “Penguin”. As Sam focused on Penguin’s recovery she soon realised that doing so enhanced her own rehabilitation. As the days passed and Penguin’s health improved, so did Sam’s outlook on life. A change which helped her discover a new focus in life.

Penguin continues to live with the Bloom’s to this very day. She also has her own Instagram account, which has over 90,000 followers, been written about worldwide and even has a book coming out in 2016.

Sam discovered kayaking which helped regain her independence and improve her mental health. She began kayaking on Saturday’s, which quickly became her favourite day of the week. It didn’t take long for experienced kayak coach, Gaye Hatfield, to take notice of Sam’s natural talent. Sam’s recreational kayaking once a week became a six day a week intense training regime. Sam’s commitment, drive and passion for kayaking saw her competing at state and national levels. From that point on her goal was obvious, Sam wanted to represent Australia on a global stage. She moved one step closer to that dream when she was noticed by a scout in 2015.

When QBE heard about Sam’s amazing journey since her accident and her goal of representing Australia, we were inspired to support her dream and are now official sponsors for Sam Bloom. Watch Sam’s story to find out more.

Sam’s times continue to improve and remains a chance of being selected at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio. QBE are proud to once again sponsor Sam in 2016.