WARNING: This post contains images that are graphic in nature.
An Australian mother was forced to use her body to shield her infant daughter after being caught in a large hailstorm on Thursday, leaving the woman badly battered and bruised.
Queensland was hit with a super-cell storm that rained down tennis-ball-sized hail, leaving thousands without power. Fiona Simpson was caught in the middle of it.
Simpson, 23, was driving home with her four-month-old daughter and her grandmother when the storm rolled in.
“I wasn’t driving very fast because I couldn’t see very well… I couldn’t see in front of me, I couldn’t even see the line on the road,” Simpson told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
The mother decided to pull the vehicle over to the side of a road to wait out the storm. The rain turned to large chunks of hail that smashed through the windows of the vehicle.
“All this rain starts coming in, and the back window where my daughter was just open … it’s gone,” Simpson said. “It was so scary but there was no time to be afraid. It just all happened so fast.
“I jumped over the back seat, over her car seat, holding my body over hers,” Simpson told ABC.
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The mother said the hail and the storm were so loud she could see her daughter screaming “but I couldn’t even hear her, that’s how loud it was.”
After the front window smashed, Simpson said she tried to help her grandmother, who was sitting the passenger seat, but both of them were being pelted hard by the hail. Once the storm passed, Simpson drove her beat-up car to a nearby home and called emergency officials.
The mother posted photos of herself in the hospital showing her heavily bruised body.
“I’ve learnt my lesson today, NEVER drive in a hail storm! We parked on the side of the road when the storm got too heavy and the hail blew out our windows,” she wrote. “I covered my infant with my body to stop her from getting badly injured.
“I know I’ll be sore tomorrow, does anyone know of a cream or ointment that will help with the bruising? My entire back, arms and head are badly bruised,” the mother wrote.
Simpson’s grandmother had to spend the night in hospital due to the injuries she sustained during the storm, while Simpson’s daughter escaped with only a minor bruise.
“I’m just a mom — you do anything you can to protect your child no matter what, even at your own expense and I would do it again,” Simpson said.
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