Now suffering from amnesia, she has launched an online appeal to try to find her identity.
In a TV interview on Tuesday, Sam said, in a slight Australian accent, she had no recollection of who she was or where she was from. “I can't remember anything. How I got here. I didn't have anything on me. No jewelery. No purse, nothing.”
She took to social media in a bid to spread her story, hoping that family member or friend might see it and get in touch. According to her Facebook page, doctors told her that a large tumour may have erased her memories. She fears she may die before finding out who she is and where her family and friends are.
Interpol has added her to their international missing person database. The FBI is also reportedly investigating Sam's mysterious case. See full story and pictures: BBC.
But, without our memories, we are lost. Just imagine if your past was wiped away with one swipe and nobody claimed you. What would you do to earn your living? We mostly rely on experience for our line of work. That's because experience comes from memories.
At about the same age, I left Australia to avoid a difficult relationship and arrived in England with just two suitcases. But I had life experience to draw on. The only job I knew was looking after children, so affiliated to Australian Aunts, I set up appointments to work as a nanny. I went to four interviews, one of them at the Brazilian Embassy, one with the movie star Jane Asher, and another with a family who were just about to leave for US. I couldn't get a visa in time for that one, and the movie star thought I was too bossy, so I took another job with a business couple with similar backgrounds to my own, he in advertising like my former husband and she working with the Australian film industry. After six months I traveled the world with them. But that's another story which I'll save for my memoirs.
Which brings me back to the original subject of memories. I'd lost every THING but I still knew who I was and could draw on life experience.
This story of the amnesiac Sam shows us just how precious our memories are.
Spend a moment to appreciate your background. I'd love to hear about your most precious recollections.