After ending her relationship with a man she had met online, Simone O'Brien was severely injured when he used a baseball bat to inflict such significant trauma to her body she spent months in a Brisbane hospital's intensive care unit fighting for life.
Without the immediate intervention of Karen Roper, Ms O'Brien's former neighbour at her Carseldine home, the divorced mother-of-three doesn't think she would have made it.
Ms Roper held her friend's skull together following the attack.
'If I didn't know my neighbours I might not be here today,' Ms O'Brien told 9 News.
It was September 25, 2012 when Ms O'Brien placed a phone call to her then partner Glenn Cable, saying she no longer wanted to be in a relationship with him following growing doubts, 10 months after they had met.
Within minutes Cable arrived at her home, and in front of Ms O'Brien's two daughters - aged 12 and 15, shattered her skull while breaking multiple bones, while her son was at basketball.
He rendered her unconscious after using a baseball bat to beat her senseless which he had previously, unknowingly to her, stored under her bed.
On Monday Ms O'Brien told Daily Mail Australia the prior placement of the bat was an indication to the courts the attack was planned.
She knew she was in danger the moment 'he shut the door to the bedroom. Then I was on the ground and looking at the girls, I felt helpless. I honestly thought I was going to die.'
Her neighbour Ms Roper quickly ran to help and was horrified to find her face like 'mush'.
'When Karen came over to help she had said to the girls ''get some me ice'' thinking I would be bruised. When she saw me she realised she needed towels instead.'
She said their friendship today is extremely 'special'.
Ms O'Brien's left arm was snapped in two places, her top jaw was shattered so badly that she could barely open her mouth two millimeters, her nose and right cheek bone were broken along with both eye sockets, her skull was completely shattered and she was left blind in one eye.
Almost five years on from the attack Ms Obrien returned to the street where the attack took place, revisiting Karen and her two other neighbours who helped detain Cable following the brutality.
'It was a goal of mine and Karen's to do this… it was just amazing to be in her car, and we held hands - and I've got the power back to be able to come back here,' she said.
'I think that night put a bond between us together that's incredibly strong.'
She is now using her experience to speak out about domestic violence, with an important message, urging women to get to know their neighbours.
White Ribbon, Australia's male-led campaign to end violence against women, wants to build a future free from male violence and abuse. Ms O'Brien is now an ambassador for the organisation.
On July 28 a national event across the country encourages neighbours to start conversations and build relationships that could be important later.
Ms O'Brien reunited with her ex husband Trevor after being divorced for six years.
Mr Cable was jailed in the Supreme Court in Brisbane for 15 years and is not able to apply for parole until 2025.
Keen to use her traumatic experience to help others her message today is clear: 'Let's make a change together - speak up and stop the domestic violence.
'A pinch is too much - it can escalate so quickly.
'I am no better than anyone,' she said 'I just want to help others.'
This article was written by Fiona Connor and was published here.
Reunited with her saviour: Emotional moment domestic violence survivor hugs the woman who saved her life following brutal baseball bat attack that left her skull in pieces