An Australian woman deemed "world's toughest mom" recently proved that it only takes a second for a mother's instinct to kick in when her child is in danger.
While driving home last week with her 78-year-old grandmother and 4-month-old daughter, Clara, 23-year-old Fiona Simpson said she got caught in a massive hailstorm in Queensland.
"I’ve learnt my lesson today," she warned on Facebook. "NEVER drive in a hail storm!"
When the storm intensified—pummeling her car with hail the size of snowballs—she pulled over to the side of the road to park.
"The hail blew out our windows," she wrote. "I covered my infant with my body to stop her from getting badly injured."
In an interview with Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC), Simpson talked about the moment she acted as a human shield for her daughter—protecting her from ice bullets and broken glass.
“I couldn't see in front of me, I couldn't even see the line on the road," she continued, adding that they had heard a loud bang but there was no time to be afraid.
“I could see her; she was screaming,” she said, “but I couldn't even hear her, it was so loud."
That’s when survival instinct kicked in, and Simpson hopped over the front seat into the back to shield baby Clara.
“When you’re a mother, you protect your child,” she said. “There’s no hesitation. You just do it.”
You also do your best to protect everyone else.
After hearing another window shatter in the front seat of the car, Simpson told ABC that she moved to try and help her grandmother.
Sadly, the hail was bigger and stronger than they ever could have imagined. While both suffered extensive bruising, her grandmother’s left arm was shredded.
“There’s no skin left on her arm,” she said. “This arm ...” she added, waving a hand over her other arm, “is just black.”
After the storm had passed, Simpson said she drove to a nearby home to get help. But it wasn’t until paramedics arrived, after realizing what could have happened, that reality set in and her body went into shock.
"I'm just a mum,” she said. “You do anything you can to protect your child no matter what, even at your own expense, and I would do it again."
The next morning, Simpson updated her Facebook page, thanking friends, family and hundreds of curious visitors for showing their support.
"Thought I’d let everyone know that Clara and I are safe at home," she wrote. "Grandma is recovering in hospital and will be home soon."
What a glorious ending to what could have been an incredibly tragic tale.