In 2007, Claire Lomas was thrown from a horse and subsequently paralyzed from the chest down.
A few years later, she completed a half-marathon in England with the help of a “robotic exoskeleton,” and raised money for the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation in the process, and became the first person to complete the Great North Run in a robotic suit that enables her to walk.
Lomas, who was also pregnant, said: “It is very hard work physically and mentally, especially with my injury, as I have no core strength and no feeling from the chest down. I can’t even feel the ground. Each slope, bump, hill is a huge obstacle.”
She was met with cheers and applause as she crossed the line, having posted regular updates on Twitter as she battled wind and rain.
Her effort has so far raised money and awareness of the spinal injuries and more vital funds for the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation. Lomas, 37, collected an MBE from the Duke of Cambridge in February, weeks after giving birth.
After collecting her award, she said: “My accident was 10 years ago in May. When I think back to that first year or two I would have loved for someone to tell me what the future had in store – back then, everything felt so bleak with so many dark days. I forced myself to take small opportunities and it has led on to bigger things. It has taken a lot of small little steps to get here.”
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