A Sarnia, Ont. woman is lucky to be alive after a violent robbery two weeks ago in Mexico.

The 68-year-old is recovering at home, but is refusing to let the ordeal bring her down.

Marianne Clift says, “I honestly did not think it was real at any point...I felt the knife…and I had a cognitive thought that these people are going to kill me.”

Clift and her husband were staying at a vacation home surrounded by a nearly five-metre high fence near Puerto Vallarta

Despite escalating violence in Mexico, she says she never questioned her safety, having been there many times before.

“I was the first one to defend Mexico and I still believe it could have happened anywhere.”

The attack happened after her husband flew home ahead of her to handle some business.

So she was home alone, asleep in bed, when she woke up to a man on top of her asking for money.

What the intruder didn’t' know is that she had studied martial arts.

“Like a mad woman…I went for the eyes and kick[ed]…I was really hoping to kick him in the groin…and the next thing I was knocked out.”

When she woke up, bleeding and badly hurt, she managed to get up and walk to her cousin's house for help.

“I knew that love was there, and help was on its way…I just kept breathing.”

It's believed the suspect climbed the outside fence then used a screw driver to break into her home.

Her purse, passport and wallet were stolen. Police have upgraded the attack to an attempted murder, but so far there are no suspects.

Since then she’s received an outpouring of support from family, and from around the world.

She still has a scar on her face from six stitches where she was slashed with a knife.

But though she is bruised and battered, she’s not broken, and has forgiven those who hurt her.

“Don’t think of ugliness…Just be grateful. Don’t give into that fear…That’s my mindset.”

Her husband agrees with her that she’s a warrior woman, both physically and mentally, as she struggles to recover despite the nightmare she lived through.