real life

How a paralysed Aussie mum embraces life

An idyllic family holiday ended tragically for Sydney mum Sam Bloom, who fell from a balcony and broke her back earlier this year. She faced the reality that she may never walk again but brave Sam – mum to three sons Rueben, Noah and Oliver, counts her blessings that it wasn’t her neck. “That way I can still hug my boys,” she says.

The Bloom family had only arrived in Thailand the day before, checking into a hotel in the seaside town of Saphan. It was a hot January morning and Sam walked up the stairs to the rooftop patio to drink her pineapple juice. While gazing out at beautiful Ban Krut beach, she leaned against the railing and it gave way.

One of her sons saw his mum’s legs disappearing over the railing. There was no shout, no scream. She fell about five metres, landing on the tiles below.

Husband Cameron rushed down to his wife and found her lying on her back, struggling to breath. He rolled her gently onto her side in the recovery position and saw a large lump on her back. He knew instantly that his wife’s back was broken.

Sam looks back on that moment when she leant into that rail and feels frustration. “It just seemed so stupid, so bizzare, something I never ever thought would happen,” she told The Sydney Morning Herald.

Keeping his wife alive was Cameron’s focus during those first few days. Not only did she have a spinal injury but her lung had collapsed and she had bleeding on the brain. Sam was loaded into an ambulance with Cameron at her side and all three distraught boys in the front seat.

It wasn’t until she’d returned to Sydney to Royal North Shore Hospital that her tragic prognosis was finally revealed: she’d never walk again. She has movement in her arms but feels nothing “from the boobs down”. As an active mother-of-three this has been a struggle. “At first I thought that it would have been better if I’d died, but now I have just accepted it, that this is how it is.”

It has now been almost a year since Sam's life took this tragic turn. This brave mum is trying to make the most out of her life, with the support of family and friends. She posted the pic above on Facebook on December 28 and wrote:

I used to go to one of these rocks and just sit and enjoy the view before running or riding back to where I started from. At 4.50am on the 24th December Cam woke me up, helped me get dressed, make a thermos of tea and bundled me into the car.

I thought we must have been heading up to Palm beach just to watch the sun rise. I guessed the Palm beach bit but had no idea what was install for me. We pulled up into the car park to see three friends Nick Brown, Mika Utzon and Johnny Mutton waiting there. My first reaction to Cam was 'what are they doing here and how embarrassing being sprung like this at just after 5 in the morning'.

Cam lifted me out of the car and to my shock and embarrassment put me down into a little beach chair which was strapped onto a bamboo frame which Cam and the three guys lifted me up on. The guys carried me along the beach and up the track to the lighthouse. I must admit it did feel rather weird being carried up but to be surrounded by the bush and heading up to a place I adore was awesome.

Of course it's all so different now following the fires but it's still magic. When we arrived at the lighthouse two more friends were waiting there, Josh Yeldham and Nicho Plowman. The guys had picked out a spot for me and carried me down to a rock which they and to my surprise Rueben had decorated with rose petals. It was absolutely beautiful. I sat on my rock with Rueben looking out over the water, it was absolutely incredible. I never thought I'd ever get back up there.

Cam you are incredible thanks for the best present ever and of course thanks guys for helping me get to a place I never thought I'd see again.

Please take the time to visit the Sam Bloom Fundraiser page which has been set up to help pay for her ongoing medical expenses.

You can also donate to Sam Bloom's recovery via Mums for Mums.

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