A 78-year-old woman has been viciously attacked on the stairs outside her church.
Penelope was opening Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox church in South Yarra in Melbourne Australia at about 6am on Saturday when she was attacked.
A man and woman approached her, and the male punched her in the face, pushed her to the ground and kicked her.
She lay alone on the ground on Barry Street for half an hour before a council worker found her.
Daughter-in-law Erin said Penelope had a broken wrist, fractured pelvis and bleeding on her brain in two areas.
Parishioner Jane Pallot told NCA NewsWire the woman was “doing OK” in the Alfred Hospital – she had a broken arm and her face was “totally bruised”.
“Everyone is completely shocked by this – it’s such a terrible act of cowardice,” she said.
“She goes to open the church before the priest every Sunday – she uses her trolley to help balance herself and somebody has just attacked her.
“She’s been doing this for over 30 years and this is the first time something like this has ever happened. She is a beautiful lady and church is her life, and we will make sure she is looked after.”
Penelope is the full-time carer for her husband who has dementia and the attack has meant she may not be able to care for her husband again.
Penelope’s daughter-in-law, Erin Katsavos, told the Herald Sun that Penelope remained in good spirits despite the horrific assault.
“He doesn’t know what’s happened, he just knows that she’s not around,” Ms Katsavos added.
“He’s very confused and upset about the whole thing. It’s really important for him to have stability and routine.”
“She’s very unwell but she’s doing everything she can to get better.
“She’s a very positive person and if anyone was able to recover from this, it’d be her. She’s very determined.”
Anyone who has any information about the incident should phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
There has been an outpouring of support for Penelope following our post, with many offering their prayers and love.