It was a stroke of genius, and definitely a stroke of luck, that led police to find Amy Windom after she had been spent hours screaming for help.
Click here to read the instant messages sent between Amanda Windom and her boyfriend, John Hilton.
Windom, 39, was was sound asleep when the armed robber broke into her home Tuesday around midnight.
"For the next hour he was in my house," she told "Good Morning America." "He, at one point, had me dragged through the house to find all my valuables."
But when the intruder, wearing a ski mask, hit her in the forehead with his handgun and used shoelaces to tie her hands to the corners of her bed, she found herself defenseless -- until she realized she might be able to reach her laptop.
The intruder took off with her cell phone, her iPod and her car but left her laptop behind. Still tied to the headboard, Windom managed to grab the laptop with her feet and, using a power cord between her toes, instant messaged her boyfriend for help.
"I pulled the comforter over and then dragged the laptop over with my feet," she said. "I was able to pry it open."
Hitting a snag when she needed to hit the Control, Alt and Delete buttons to get her computer started, Windom made a few missed attempts, before realizing that she could hit Control and Alt with her right toes and the power cord between her left toes to hit Delete.
She was able to instant message boyfriend John Hilton shortly after.
"CALL 911 POLICE," she wrote.
Hilton's response: "Crap."
"I'M HOME TIED TO BEED (sic) ROB," she wrote back.
"First thing I got was help in capital letters. Then, 'Call the police,'" Hilton said. "I was in shock. I couldn't believe it."
As the two typed, Hilton reassured her that he was on the phone with 911 and relayed information between the dispatcher and Windom, including a description of her attacker.
"BLK 6 1 22YO. DARK COMPLECTION [sic]," Windom typed, to describe her attacker.
"Have you seen him before?" Hilton wrote back.
"I had a few typos, if you can imagine it's not the easiest thing to do," she said today.
Police arrived shortly after and are now looking for the man. Windom said she has been told that her car has been found.
"She's very creative," Hilton said. "She's a fighter and she knows how to use what she's got."