Paralysed woman walks 10 miles in bionic suit
A woman who is paralysed from the chest down has completed the Great South Run with the help of a bionic suit.
Claire Lomas, from Eye Kettleby, near Melton Mowbray, finished the 10-mile course in 24 hours, walking through the night to achieve her goal.
Ms Lomas – who broke her back in a horse-riding accident 10 years ago – said it was her “toughest challenge to date”.
She completed the race wearing a ReWalk Suit – a robotic exoskeleton which enables people with spinal cord injury (SCI) to walk, aided by a pair of blue crutches.
Ms Lomas became the first person to complete a marathon in the robotic suit back in 2014, completing the London Marathon in 16 days.
This was the first long-distance race without stopping for the 37-year-old, who has raised over £575,000 for charity since her accident.
This challenge has so far raised more than £5,000 for the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation.
Posting regular updates on Twitter, Ms Lomas kept her spirits up with pop music during the walk, singing Bon Jovi’s Livin’ On A Prayer to celebrate reaching the half-way point.
Ms Lomas was met with cheers from supporters as she crossed the finish line, where her daughters Masie, five, and Chloe, nine months, were waiting to greet her.
Earlier this year Ms Lomas was awarded an MBE, just weeks after giving birth to her second daughter.
After collecting her award she said of her accident: “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.”