A mother of three who broke her back after falling six meters from a balcony while on a family holiday in Thailand, she has since become a two-time world and Australian surfing champion.
Sam Bloom was 41 when she fell through a rotten balcony railing while on a family vacation in Thailand in 2013.
Ms Bloom fell six meters to the concrete below as her husband Cameron and children Robyn, 16, Noah, 14 and Ollie, 12, watched in horror.
Her husband rushed to help but found her lying unconscious with her head open. She has also bit her tongue and a huge lump can be seen on her back.
Sam Bloom (pictured) was 41 when she fell from a rotten balcony while on a family vacation in Thailand in 2013
The mother of three children (pictured) had her skull fractured in several places, her brain was bruised, her tongue was bitten, her lungs were torn, and two vertebrae were shattered in her spine, causing her chest to be paralyzed down.
Ms. Bloom suffered severe injuries that included a fractured skull, bruising and bleeding on her brain, lacerated lungs and a torn tongue.
Her spine was also crushed at the T6 and T7 vertebrae, causing a fist-shaped nodule of bone to protrude from her back.
After waiting for an ambulance for four hours, Mrs. Bloom was taken to a local hospital where doctors began stitching up her head wound.
Doctors quickly realized the severity of her injuries and transferred her for three hours to a private hospital, where she spent three days until her condition stabilized.
After six months of surgery and rehabilitation, Ms. Bloom was paralyzed from the chest down and was unable to walk again.
Before the accident, I was very active. I grew up on beaches, so I’ve always been into surfing and felt really comfortable in the ocean,” said Ms. Bloom. Nine honey.
“After the accident I had in 2013 when I broke my back… I have no control. All I have is my arm so I feel very uncomfortable in the ocean now because I have no control.
Ms. Bloom spent a week in a Bangkok hospital before returning home to Australia, where she began a seven-month hospital rehabilitation.
In a Facebook post marking the 10th anniversary of the accident, Bloom wrote that sometimes she believes the best version of herself perished on concrete.
However, she would never have imagined that a decade later she would be a two-time world and Australian champion in kitesurfing competing at a national and international level.
After seven months of rehabilitation in hospital, Ms. Bloom decided to try kayaking (pictured)
With the help of family, friends, and a modified surfboard, Miss Plum became a two-time surfing champion (pictured)
Ms. Bloom has been named captain of the Australian team for the 2022 ISA World Surfing Championships (pictured)
Sam Bloom and her husband Cameron after winning gold at the 2020 World Surfing Championships in San Diego (pictured)
She thanked a staff member at her rehabilitation center for acknowledging her former passion for sports and pushing her to try different types of para-athletics.
At first, the employee encourages her to try wheelchair basketball, but Mrs. Bloom suggests kayaking instead.
She started rowing as soon as she left rehab because she loved being on the water and getting out of her wheelchair.
The sport brought Ms. Bloom solitude and independence and in 2015 she was selected to compete as part of the Australian ParaCanoe Team for the World Championships in Milan.
Five years later, Mrs. Bloom decides to try kitesurfing despite fears that she will not be able to dive under the waves or run over the beach when there is a ‘big beach dump’.
Mrs. Bloom addressed her concerns with the help of her family, friends, and a modified skateboard with hand grips that allow her to control the board with her arms.
It’s cool, but it’s also frustrating because I’d do anything to be able to run on the beach by myself. “But I can’t do that any more,” said Mrs. Bloom.
Everyone has a different story and everyone has overcome daunting challenges to get back in the ocean. When you talk to other people who’ve had similar injuries, we get it.
We just get to how hard it is and how difficult it is to deal with your new life mentally. But if you have a purpose, a goal, and something to strive for, it changes everything.
In August 2018 Ms. Bloom was selected as a member of the Australian Adaptive Surfing Team and won gold for Australia at both the 2019 and 2020 Para Surfing World Championships.
Mrs. Bloom (pictured with her son Robin) also appears in a limited edition Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bar representing the word ‘courage’ for Cadbury’s ‘A Cheer & A Half’ campaign
Ms. Bloom posed for a photo with her husband, Cameron (left), and their three sons, Noah, Robyn, and Ollie
She was announced as captain of the Australian team for the 2022 ISA World Surfing Championships in November and was a finalist after finishing fourth in the Prone Non Assist competition.
Ms. Bloom is also introducing, along with other sporting icons, limited edition Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bars that represent the word ‘courage’ in the ‘A Cheer & A Half’ campaign.
For Ms. Bloom, being on the sand with a disability is hard, but her bravery comes from being pushed outside of her comfort zone and still “giving it a go”.
She hopes the campaign will attract attention, donations and volunteers for adaptive sports and wants to inspire other Australians with disabilities to give sport a chance.
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