Ilona Prohaska says life was different five years ago, before an attempt on her life made her too afraid to be in her Melbourne home.
The widowed Hungarian immigrant lived in her two-storey home on a quiet Endeavour Hills street for 20 years before a stranger burst through her door with a knife on a May afternoon in 2013.
Her throat was cut, her spine and shoulder broken and she was robbed of $70 cash and a debit card before the offender fled.
So frightened by what had happened, Ms Prohaska sold up, began sleeping with the light on and moved into a nursing home for two years.
On Thursday her alleged attacker, a man who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was ordered to stand trial in the Supreme Court for attempted murder.
Dressed in a grey prison tracksuit, he told magistrate Lance Martin he was pleading "not guilty to all charges" over the May 21 attack, including making threats to kill, intentionally causing serious injury and theft.
His lawyer Paul Smallwood denies the 41-year-old, who was charged last year, is Ms Prohaska's knife-wielding attacker and says identity will be an issue at the trial.
Under cross-examination, Detective Senior Constable Robert Ormerod told Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday that another suspect was arrested and interviewed.
Ms Prohaska first described the attacker as Indian, and told police "I have never met or seen him before" when showed a photo of the Caucasian man they charged.
Detective Ormerod said he applied again last year to have the victim's jumper tested for DNA, after technological advances since 2013.
Prosecutor Nick Papas had said on Wednesday evidence discovered on the jumper was a "very strong match" to the accused man.
Ms Prohaska's DNA was also pulled from clothes worn during the attack, which left her covered in blood.
The then 73-year-old had opened her door to the stranger, believing he was a tradesman she'd been expecting.
Giving evidence through an interpreter she recalled being knocked to the ground, kicked and pinned down by a man in hi-vis, protective glasses and a cap and hoodie pulled low.
She said her medical panic alarm was torn from her neck and tossed out of reach to a room where she later crawled to use it to call for help.
"He was holding the knife near my throat and his hand was shaking ... and he was cutting," she said.
"I was shouting 'help, help'."
He used a hammer to pound the knife into each side of her neck, she told police in a statement.
The accused man will face the Supreme Court for a directions hearing later this month.