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Mom who shielded infant daughter from tennis ball-sized hail shares photos of her injuries

QUEENSLAND, Australia – An Australian mother caught in a severe storm with her infant daughter shielded the child with her own body as hail ripped through her car Thursday.

Fiona Simpson was driving northwest of Brisbane in the rural town of Kingaroy with her baby and grandmother when they became trapped in the storm, hail the size of a tennis ball shattering the vehicle’s windows, according to the Courier-Mail.

“We parked at the side of the [road] when the storm got too heavy and the hail blew out our windows,” Simpson wrote on Facebook. “I covered my infant with my body to stop her from getting badly injured. Please, please be careful in this storm season.”

Simpson, who posted photos of the mottled, badly-bruised skin on her face and back, wrote, “I’ve learnt my lesson, never drive in a hailstorm.”

Adam Blazak, a forecaster with the Bureau of Meteorology, told the paper a tornado was reported. The supercell storm’s devastating winds shredded crops and tore roofs from buildings, according to news.com.au.

Many farmers in the region were close to harvesting when the storm hit. Teresa Francis told the site that her orchard is all but gone, an estimated $2 million loss.

“It knocks you down,” she said. “I’ve stopped crying but there’s worse things that can happen. We are still all OK.”