The family of an elderly woman who was brutally bashed and left bleeding on the steps of a Melbourne church have one message for her gutless attacker.
Penelope Katsavos, 78, was opening Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox church in South Yarra at 6am on Saturday, as she had done for the past 30 years, when she was viciously attacked by ‘gutless’ thugs.
When she approached the entrance, a male and a female approached her trolley before the man punched her and pushed her to the ground.
As she laid helpless, the man then started kicking her, before the pair fled the scene – leaving her lying on the steps where she was found 30 minutes later by a street cleaner who then called police.
The callous attack left her face covered in massive purple bruises, trailing from her right eye down to her chin.
Ms Katsavos’s son Evri told 7NEWS the attack was ‘defenceless’.
Penelope Katsavos, 78, was opening the church as she had done for 30 years when she was savagely attacked by a man and a woman
The grandmother-of-six suffered a broken wrist, a fractured pelvis and bleeding on the brain in two spots.
Ms Katsavos is now in a stable condition in hospital recovering from her injuries, but there are fears she may never fully recover from the attack.
A photo taken in hospital shows the brave elderly woman flashing a smile as she reads from a bible, her reading glasses shielding a swollen black eye.
‘It saddens me to talk about… to think about the pain that she actually went through,’ Ms Katsavos’s son Evri told 7NEWS.
‘[It’s] just real gutless to hit anyone, let alone an elderly person… defenceless.’
The culprits took her trolley but it was later found in a nearby park with nothing stolen.
Ms Katsavos is the full-time carer for her husband Thomas, who has dementia and the attack has meant she may not be able to care for her husband again.
The couple have spent the past three decades volunteering for the church.
The grandmother-of-six flashed a brave smile as she read from a bible in hospital, where she is receiving treatment for her injuries
Ms Katsavos daughter-in-law said she has remained positive throughout the ordeal.
‘She is eternally positive, but that’s just her nature. But she’s very unwell.’ She told 3AW.
She said the family was shocked but hoped the attackers would be caught in order to stop another attack.
‘We’re just shocked … and just devastated for her.’
‘We want the people who did this to be found, so firstly they can’t do it to anyone else and that they’re held accountable for what they’ve done.’ She said.
Her daughter-in-law was optimistic about her recovery.
‘She’s a really strong woman, so she’s very practical about it, she knows that is was a random thing’, she said.
Evri said the family was inspired by his mother’s strength.
‘We know that’s she’s very strong and she makes us all strong as well,’ he said.
She was left on the steps of the Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox church in South Yarra (pictured) before a street cleaner found her and called police
Parishioner Jane Pallot said Ms Katsavos was a ‘beautiful’ woman and the church community would rally behind her during this difficult time.
‘She is a beautiful lady and church is her life, and we will make sure she is looked after.’ She told News Corp.
A photo of the victim taken at the church steps shows her looking stunning and defenceless covered in blood.
Ms Katsavos was unable to describe the attackers but did say they were ‘young’.
Both are still on the run and Victoria Police said the investigation into the random attack is ongoing.
The man has been described as having a thin build with dark hair, and was wearing dark clothing at the time.
He was last seen heading towards Chapel Street with the trolley.