In early 2013, Sam Bloom’s dream life turned into a nightmare when on holiday in Thailand she unknowingly leant against a rotten balcony railing, falling through it and crashing six metres onto the concrete below. She was lucky to be alive and had suffered immense trauma including damage to her spinal cord that left her paralysed.
After a gruelling rehabilitation process, Sam was left bereft as she faced a new and foreign life in a wheelchair. All seemed lost until the day her son found an injured baby magpie that the family took in and named ‘Penguin’. Sam had no idea that this would be the start of a powerful journey of healing for both of them.
Sam and Penguin’s remarkable bond and extraordinary story of parallel recovery was captured through the lens by Sam’s husband, acclaimed photographer Cameron Bloom.
The images formed the basis for the international bestselling book Penguin Bloom: The odd little bird who saved a family, a collaboration with New York Times bestselling author Bradley Trevor Greive.
Their powerful story inspired a Hollywood movie of the same name, starring Naomi Watts and Andrew Lincoln. Released in January 2021, Penguin Bloom became an immediate hit, taking #1 at the Australian box office and trending on Netflix in North America and across Europe.
We are incredibly grateful that Sam was able to so eloquently share her story with us yesterday, you are both an inspiration, brave and amazing people! Thank you for your contribution to making our event such a success, our audience left feeling positive and enriched from the experience. You made us think, laugh, cry and really put things into perspective!– PPG
Sam impacted our audiences with such humour and realness that we were all moved to tears. Her storytelling brought us all to our feet for a standing ovation, and I’ll forever carry her message with me.– Business Chicks
Sam takes life and the challenges it has provided well and truly ‘head on’. This resonates through her presentations and delivery, creating a powerful experience for her audience. If you’re seeking a remarkable and inspiring personal story delivered with passion and humility, Sam is an outstanding choice.– Blackmores