For every horrible story we hear about a parent going over the edge (the recent mom-drives-van-with-children-into-the-ocean story comes to mind), there are hundreds and hundreds of stories each year involving moms and dads who, without hesitation, throw themselves in harm's way to protect their offspring.

Meet Mindy Tran, a 22 year old mother from Lawrence, Mass. Mindy took the extraordinary step of throwing herself onto the ground behind her Honda Accord to keep it from rolling out into traffic with her twin daughters inside.

Mindy Tran says she had been living in a shelter with twin daughters Saleen and Sydney, and that they had recently moved into their new apartment just days before the incident.

"It felt like I was starting a new life," she told ABC News today from the hospital where she is recovering from a broken leg and dislocated shoulder and hip. "The girls had started at daycare and we just moved in. It seems like when things are going too well, something bad will happen."

Something bad did indeed happen, but it most certainly could have been a lot worse. With her two daughters buckled into their car seats, the Accord began to roll backwards.

Tran says she is lucky to be alive after she lay on the ground behind her Honda Accord to stop it from rolling into the street with her kids still inside. "I laid down horizontally, using my body as a speed bump to stop the car," she said.

A neighbor who saw what was happening came running and jumped into the car to get it stopped.

"My neighbor jumped in and he asked what I wanted them to do," she said. "I said make sure my daughters got out of the car safely."

The neighbor did get the uninjured girls safely out, but Mindy was trapped under the car, badly injured.

There was no damage to the car, Lawrence Fire Department Chief John Marsh said. "Firefighters responded to the apartment and they stabilized the car with wooden blocks and then used an airbag to lift the car off Tran," he said, adding that she was eventually airlifted to a Boston-area hospital. "We've seen something like this before," he said. "It is an unfortunate accident and somehow her car wasn't in gear."

Suffering from a crushed knee, injured hips, and a dislocated shoulder, Mindy is looking at surgery in the coming days, followed by physical rehabilitation. She expects to spend several weeks in the hospital. As for her girls,

Tran's twin girls will celebrate their birthday April 13. She says the medical facility at which she is staying has offered to let them have a party there so she can be with them.

"It's not going to be the same for them celebrating a birthday here at the hospital," she said, "but as a mother I want to see them."

She's being hailed as a hero, but like most moms, she doesn't see it that way:

"I don't consider myself a hero," she said. "I am just a mother."

It's the same thing, Mindy. It's the same thing.

Here's the story from ABC News.

More From WROK 1440 AM / 96.1 FM