Penguin was a quirky member of the Bloom family. Penguin Bloom, they called her.
She enjoyed being held and, especially when she was a baby, liked sitting in the laps of people. She was also a particularly good listener. As she grew older and wiser, she would leave the Bloom home more often, but never for long, before she would return to the familiarity of her adoptive family.
Penguin was a magpie - an unconventional ‘child’. But for two years, she was like the sixth family member of the Bloom family, along with parents Samantha and Cameron and their three sons, Reuben, Noah and Oliver.
Penguin was never a pet. She was a wild bird, who had the freedom to take off whenever she wanted. But the window was always open for Penguin - an invitation she didn’t like to fly away from.
Listen to Mia Freedman chat to Sam and Cameron Bloom on No Filter. Post continues after audio.
When Penguin was a fragile baby, son Noah came across the magpie at his grandmother’s place. They could see she had been injured and had flown out of her nest. They were concerned she would die if they left her there alone.
So they carefully picked her up and carried her to their home. They saved the little bird, but what they didn’t know is that the baby bird would actually be saving them.
Penguin entered their life right when a beacon of light was exactly what they needed.
In 2013, the family of five were on a holiday in Thailand. On a rooftop deck, they were taking in their surroundings when Sam leant against a dodgy railing. It collapsed, dropping Sam six metres to the ground. She was paralysed from the chest down, suffering from a spinal cord injury.