Blunt thoracic trauma may cause cardiac contusion and cardiogenic shock resistant to inotropic support. The use of intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation (IABCP) as a mechanical means of augmenting cardiac function following cardiac contusion is rare with case reports largely limited to its use in young trauma patients. We describe the case of a frail, 80-year-old woman who suffered cardiac contusion in a motor vehicle crash. She developed cardiogenic shock with electrocardiograph changes, elevated troponin T and severe global dysfunction on echocardiography. She was successfully managed with invasive monitoring, inotropic support and IABCP. This case provides support for aggressive resuscitation even in the very elderly as recovery from severe cardiac contusion may be possible.