Pictured: Horrifically injured carjack mother finally leaves hospital and takes first tentative steps

A woman who was horrifically injured after being ambushed by a carjacker has finally left hospital and taken her first tentative steps.

Caroline Johnson, 46, clung to life after she was dragged 80ft under the wheels of her car, when a man tried to steal it as she scraped ice from her windscreen.

The mother-of-four was left with a catalogue of injuries, including 22 broken bones and massive internal bleeding.

Mrs Johnson

Dramatic recovery: Carjack victim Mrs Johnson has been released from hospital after her body was virtually rebuilt by doctors

But the veterinary receptionist has astounded doctors with her determination to live and walk again after medical experts virtually rebuilt her body.

Now, just three months after the incident, she has been released from hospital and taken her first painful steps.

Mrs Johnson, who has four children with husband Mark Collins, told how she willed herself to live for the sake of her family.

She eased one foot in front of the other, with teeth gritted to cope with the pain and knuckles white from gripping her metal support frame, watched by daughter Samantha, 21, before easing herself back into her wheelchair.

After three tentative steps she said: 'This is just the first step, believe me. There's more where that came from.

'My goal is to walk along the beach with Mark and our two dogs, like we used to when we were younger.'

That goal will take a while to achieve as both Mrs Johnson's ankles were shattered and left badly deformed in the incident in Langley, Berkshire, three months ago.

Mrs Johnson was just a few feet from her home, preparing her car for the school run when the carjacker struck.

She was dragged 80ft under the wheels of her car as the attacker drove off.

Mrs Johnson and husband Mark

Warm welcome: Mrs Johnson settles back into her home with husband Mark Collins. She knows she may never again walk free of pain

When she was taken to Wexham Park Hospital, in Slough, on December 2 she had a broken pelvis, fractured lower spine, punctured lungs, broken arms and shoulders, and massive internal injuries which left her needing a 30-pint blood transfusion.

Her family endured an anxious wait, with hourly updates on her condition as a medical team fought to save her life.

She is still unable to balance properly or put her heels flat on the ground and is forced to stand painfully on tiptoe 'like a ballerina'.

The extent of her injuries means she may never be able to walk pain-free again and will need intense physiotherapy, rehabilitation and counselling in the future.

Speaking just before further surgery on her ankles, she said: 'I hope they'll be able to get them back to normal - I don't want to totter around on tip-toe for the rest of my life.'

She added: 'I'm worried about my family and job - I'm ready to get back to my life and want to put this all behind me as quickly as possible.

'They're calling me the bionic woman because 10 metal pins and plates are holding me together.

'They're even joking about how loudly I'll sound when I go through the airport's security sensors.

'But although I can laugh about it, I know deep down I'll have to live with the effects of what happened that fateful morning.

'Only last week I got upset at seeing children running around in the hospital and admit I felt a bit defeated. I mean, how could they get about effortlessly when I am struggling just to stand'

She paid tribute to doctors and nurses for keeping her motivated.

'It will be a hard slog but it will all be worth it,' she said. 'It's now time to look to the future.

'Mark and I have been busy making plans to enjoy more day trips together to the beach and to spend more time together as a family.

'I'm damned if I'll let what's happened get the better of me.'