A young mother recommended for a bravery award after she used her body to shield her infant daughter from hail stones which broke in through the window of their car during a supercell thunderstorm says she’s shocked by the gesture.
Brave Mom Becomes Human Shield for Her Baby as Glass and Hail Smash Through Her Car Window
Premier of Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk said in the latest press conference that she would recommend the 23 year old Fiona Simpson for the honour.
Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison also praised the mother’s action, saying he thinks “she’s one of the bravest people I’ve read of lately”.
On Thursday with her 78 year old Grandmother and 4 month old daughter she was driving from Nanango on the D’Aguilar Highway to her home when the rain started roll in.
Fiona Simson said she had not heard about the warnings but knew she needed to pull her car over when it’s started raining heavily.
The gigantic hailstones smashed through the car’s rear window, showering her young baby with glass and ice.
“I couldn’t focus on the pain, all I could focus on was just laying over the top of her and protecting her from the hail, there wasn’t really time to worry about anything else,” she said Ten Eyewitness News on Friday.
Some reports on Thursday said that the hailstones lashing the Queensland were the size of tennis balls.
“(The window) just blew out all in one go, just glass went everywhere in the car, so I just took off my seatbelt, climbed through the back and just laid on top of her, hoping to wait the storm out,” she said.
The quick thinking mother leapt into the back of the car and acted as a human shield for her baby.
GRAPHIC WARNING: This story contains confronting images
With her back, arms and head exposed, the relentless hail left Simpson’s badly bruised, with welts from the hail covering her entire back.
The experience left the young mother with significant bruising to most of her body.
Her daughter baby had small “bumps” on her head.
Her grandmother was admitted to hospital after most of the skin from her left arm was shredded while the other was left “completely black” from bruising.
“I’ve learnt my lesson, never drive in a hail storm,” she later wrote on Facebook.
Speaking to ABC News, Ms Simpson said she didn’t even know about the Premier’s intentions until she was contacted by her local newspaper for comment.
“I was shocked … I didn’t expect it that’s for sure,” Ms Simpson said.
“I wouldn’t have thought anyone like that would know about little old me.”
She said since her story was made public on Friday she’s been inundated with hundreds of messages of support from around the world.
“I’ve tried to reply to most of them but every time I clear through my messages 50 more pop up,” she said.
“People are offering to help, offering to send me ointments and creams, offering to buy me a massage, a few insurance companies have offered to replace my car.
“There’s people from Norway, America, Canada, and a lot of people across Australia. There’s a few ones in language I don’t know. I honestly can’t believe how quick it went around, I’m very shocked.
“A lot of people have been telling me their stories about accidents they’ve had … I didn’t expect any of it to be honest.”
A major clean-up operation is now underway in the affected regions.
Town centres of Murgon and Kingaroy were badly affected by the storm.
Emergency crews are expected to continue to assess the level of damage to homes and surrounding areas before forecast rain is expected to hit on Friday afternoon.