The young mother who was pelted with giant hailstones while shielding her baby during freak southeast Queensland thunderstorms is being nominated for a bravery award.
Fiona Simpson, 23, was left with horrific bruising and cuts after hail blew out her car windshield last week near Kingaroy, however she managed to protect her baby girl the brunt of the storm.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said it was an “extraordinary” story and promised to recommend Ms Simpson for a bravery award.
“We will be recommending her for a bravery award,” the premier confirmed on Sunday.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison also praised Ms Simpson’s courage.
“I certainly think she is one of the bravest people I have read of lately,” Mr Morrison said.
Ms Simpson had been travelling on the D’Aguilar Highway between Kingaroy and Gympie on Thursday afternoon with her grandmother and baby daughter Clara when tennis-ball-sized hailstones smashed into their car.
“I didn’t realise the danger of what hail could do,” Ms Simpson told Nine News.
“I jumped in the back seat and just covered (Clara) with my body, hoping for it to pass, but it just got heavier and heavier.”
She and her grandmother had to spend a night in hospital and she posted confronting images of her injuries on social media, revealing her back, shoulders and arms were entirely covered in angry welts and bruises.
Hail measuring between 5cm and 7cm fell in the region during the storm event, covering the ground thickly in some parts.
Bravery awards in are administered through the department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and range from the highest honour of the Cross of Valour to a commendation for Brave Conduct.
They are usually announced in two batches every year around April and August.