Bionic Woman Walks the Marathon
Claire Lomas completes the London Marathon with the aid of a bionic suit
There are few more inspiring stories than Claire’s. She is truly taking the meaning of ‘take a challenge’ to an extreme level. Claire’s life changed in 2007 by an equestrian eventing injury which paralysed her from the chest down. By the time of her accident, Claire was one of the top riders in the country. She had already competed at the Burghley Horse Trials and was set to appear at the prestigious Badminton when she entered the Osberton Horse Trials in May 2007.
Thrown from her horse, Claire hit a tree and fractured her ribs, neck and back. Her lung was punctured, she had to have a tracheotomy to assist her breathing, and she was in intensive care for ten days. Her accident has understandably had a huge impact on her life and since the accident she has seen many other people who have had their lives turned upside down and have had to battle with the consequences of a split second that changed their life.
Spinal cord injuries doesn't't just mean you can't walk any more- but can also effect sensation, bowel and bladder function, circulation, temperature regulation, sexual function and bone density. It is a lot to deal with when you are injured and can easily lead to depression.
Amazingly, Claire sees herself as lucky, lucky to have had the generous support from family and friends helping her to deal with this catastrophic injury. So five years after her accident she is taking on this massive challenge. She is walking the Virgin London Marathon. No mean feat for someone paralysed from the chest down! To help her achieve this challenge she will be using a robotic suit (www.argomedtec.com) which allows paraplegics to walk again.
In order to prepare, Claire has had to learn to walk with the suit, a challenge in itself. Her first training day was the 23rd January 2012 and in her words that first day… “…was a challenge for sure, but what is wrong with a challenge?! I don't know how long I will need to train to be able to walk well enough for the Marathon. However- I think 26 miles will seem a very long way!!”.
She, and her team of dedicated supporters, started the event16 days after starting the Virgin London Marathon, walking a few miles per day. Claire is doing all of this for Spinal Research. A spinal injury can happen to anyone at any time in a split second and she is passionate about a cure being found.
"Here at Virgin we treasure amazing acts of bravery - especially ones that raise money for charity - and Claire’s marathon is certainly that. We launched the Virgin Trophy to recognise men and women who go that extra mile, who challenge themselves beyond normal human limitations".
Claire has raised over £165,000 in support of Spinal Research, please help her reach her target of £250,000
Having completed this extraordinary achievement Claire was asked to launch the Paralympic Torch Relay on Friday 24th August.
She has also announced that her next challenge will be a Paris to London cycle which will be found on the TakeaChallenge website when more information becomes available.
Spinal Research is the UK’s leading charity funding medical research around the world to develop reliable treatments for paralysis caused by a broken back or neck. Every year more than 800 people in the UK and Ireland are paralysed following an injury to their spinal cord. Spinal Research raises money to fund research into clinical treatments as well as vital basic science research.
Get Claire Walking - Text LEGS60 £(amount) to 70070