Fiona Simpson from Kingaroy, Queensland (Australia) has witnessed first-hand how much devastation a hailstorm can cause. The woman was left with numerous large bruises on her body after she shielded her little daughter and grandmother from a severe hailstorm.
Fiona and her family were in the car during the storm, but the hailstones were so massive that the car’s windows quickly shattered.
It didn’t take long before the side windows were gone, and the windscreen quickly collapsed as well after a couple of direct hits.
Fiona was simply driving on the D’Aguilar Highway back home when it all happened. It was supposed to be a routine trip, but it quickly turned into a weather nightmare. The storm left a huge path of destruction, with wind speeds of 90 miles per hour and tens of thousands of homes without power.
In the midst of the storm, Fiona reacted as she should have and pulled over the car because the rain started to get too severe to drive safely.
“My daughter was asleep, and I wasn’t really too concerned as I thought, ‘It’ll pass.’ And then I hear this loud bang, and the car is just cold and wet, and it’s just all blowing in. And I thought ‘Oh, the window is down,’ so I’m trying to wind the window up, but it wasn’t wound up, it was gone.”
The first window that shattered was the one right beside her four-month-old daughter, and the little girl was overwhelmed with hail.
Immediately, the young mom jumped out of the car, went to her daughter and put herself between her and the window to act as a human shield.
She climbed on top of her little daughter to protect her as best as possible, as Fiona heard her screaming moments after the glass shattered. The brave woman recalls that she could even barely hear her daughter screaming because everything was so loud and chaotic. She estimates that it went on for at least half a minute before both of them were able to find some cover.
Not long after, another car window was obliterated by the storm. This time, Fiona’s grandmother was showered in hailstones. Fiona tried her best to move her so that the stones couldn’t reach them, but they both ended up getting lots of hailstones on their body.
Luckily, the woman was able to place her four-month-old daughter underneath the dashboard in the pedal area, where she was shielded from the hailstones. Fiona and her grandmother, however, were not so fortunate.
Both of them went to the hospital, and the photos of Fiona’s injured body are horrifying.
The woman had bruises the size of tennis balls all over her back and most of her face. Grandmother was in even worse condition, as her left arm was full of shredded skin. Her other arm was bruised so badly that it was completely black. Luckily, she was released from the hospital shortly after.
“My entire back, arms and head are badly bruised. I’m just so relieved that my daughter and grandmother are alright.”
As for the brave little daughter, she only suffered minor bumps and wasn’t hurt severely – all thanks to the quick and selfless intervention from mom.
Fiona’s bravery hasn’t gone unnoticed.
During a press event, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told that Fiona was in line for a precious bravery award. She recommended the young mother, and she was supported by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“She’s one of the bravest people I’ve read of lately,” he added.
The fact that these high-profile politicians even spoke about her story came to a total surprise for Fiona.
“I was shocked … I didn’t expect it that’s for sure,” she said to ABC News. “I wouldn’t have thought anyone like that would know about little old me.”
Ever since the press event, Fiona has been bombarded with loving words and kind gestures from friends, family and complete strangers alike.
“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.”
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“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.”
The woman is now urging people to always be careful during the storm season, and will also gladly accept any tips to help with the bruising.
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