Mother injured in Christchurch tornado reunites with rescuers

A woman injured in a tornado that tore through the Christchurch suburb of Sydenham two weeks ago has been reunited with her rescuers.

Petra Semerakova was shopping with her toddler at Sydenham's Savemart when the tornado hit.

"There was a huge loud bang and it felt like [I was] in a washing machine... it was really loud and I couldn't hear anything else. My son started crying," Semerakova told Newshub.

The mother was struck on the head as the force of the tornado caused lights and wooden beams to fall from Savemart's ceiling. 

"I fell to the ground and started screaming. I grabbed my son in the pram and ran towards the service desk," she recalls.

The store's manager, Tracee Taylor, rushed to Semerakova's aid. 

"She was my first priority... it looked like the roof was collapsing behind her as she was walking," Taylor says.

It was a scene that store worker Nadine Flyger will never forget.

"There was blood running down her face she was screaming 'please help me'... the baby was screaming, inconsolably frightened," Flyger says.

As the storm hit, Flyger, Taylor and two other Savemart customers huddled over Semerakova, protecting her and her toddler from further injury.

Semerakova was taken to hospital where she received stitches for a head wound.

On Tuesday, she returned to the store to thank her rescuers.

"I remember the two faces from the shop who helped me. They looked really calm and were very trying to help me and to get me warm. They kept saying the firemen and the ambulance is on its way," Semerakova says.

"I knew someone was going to take care of us."