Claire Lomas

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Claire Lomas
Claire Lomas walking the 2012 Virgin London Marathon.JPG
Born (1980-04-28) 28 April 1980 (age 34)
Leicestershire, United Kingdom United Kingdom
Nationality British
Occupation Event Rider , Campaigner, Fundraiser, Mono Skier
Known for First to finish The Virgin London Marathon using robotic walking aid
Spouse(s) Dan Spicer
Children Maisie
Website
www.get-claire-walking.co.uk
Claire Lomas supported by spectators during her 2012 Virgin London Marathon walk
Claire Lomas crossing the finish line

Claire Lomas (born 28 April 1980) became a paraplegic as a result of a riding accident in 2007. She is a British campaigner, fundraiser and former event rider known for finishing the 32nd Virgin London Marathon in 17 days using the ReWalk robotic suit.[1][2][3]

Background[edit]

Before 2007, Lomas worked as an event rider, producing and competing horses in Eye Kettleby, near Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire, UK. While competing at Osberton Horse Trials in Nottinghamshire on May 2007 she had an accident, colliding with a tree, which resulted in broken ribs puncturing her lungs and causing pneumonia; multiple fractures on her neck; and a spinal cord injury causing paralysis from the chest down.[4] After a speedy recovery at the Sheffield Northern General Hospital's Spinal Injuries Unit, due to the spinal cord injury on T4 thoracic vertebrae Lomas was left without the use of her legs and lack of general sensation in lower part of her body.[5]

Despite the injuries that left her with paraplegia, her condition has improved rapidly due to medical rehabilitation treatments and being active in sports (gym exercising, horse riding, skiing and swimming). Lomas also credits the high level of support and understanding she receives from her husband Dan and becoming a mother as she gave birth to her daughter Maisie in March 2011.[6][7]

This progress and support stimulated Lomas not to become depressed but instead to run various campaigns and fundraising events publicly during 2008–2012 in order to acquire equipment for her rehabilitation and raise funds for research into spinal cord repair for the British charity Spinal Research, for which Lomas is an Ambassador for their Saddle Up Campaign for horse riders.[8]

After intensive and continuous rehabilitative exercising and therapy, Lomas reported she gained improvements in core strength. However, her lower body motoric abilities are still impaired and she has to use a wheelchair to stay mobile in everyday life.[9]

Achievements[edit]

Lomas ran a fundraising campaign to raise £50,000 for the charity Spinal Research to find a repair for spinal cord injury. This campaign promoted as Claire's Walk focuses around her participation in the 32nd Virgin London Marathon of 22nd April2012. She finished the Marathon in 17 days using the ReWalk robotic suit that helps people with paraplegia walk standing in upright position, on 8 May.[10]

On August 2011, Lomas announced launching a semi-nude photography calendar starring renowned event riders from Britain as a method of fundraising for purchasing the £43,000 ReWalk suit.[11] The calendar was published on 1 September 2011 and £10,000 of the total sum needed was donated by the Matt Hampson Foundation.[12] Claire Lomas began training on 23 January 2012.[13]

Though the organisation requires participants to finish the marathon within 24 hours, they allowed Lomas to walk 2 miles a day for 17 days accompanied by her husband. She finished the marathon after 17 days, passing the finish line on 8 May 2012 at 12:50.[14] Donations for Spinal Research were gathered mostly online through the Just Giving UK website and reached £90,000 as she crossed the finish line, up to £143,000 five days later.[15]

Awards and recognition[edit]

After completing the 2012 London Marathon Lomas received 14 medals from other marathon participants as symbolic recognition of her accomplishment.[16][17] Her crossing the finish line at The Mall in central London was escorted by three mounted members of the Household Cavalry giving Lomas a guard of honor and she was awarded the Virgin Trophy by Holly Branson.[18][19]

Lomas went on to be nominated for and to win Inspirational Fundraiser at the Inspiration Awards for Women in October 2012 [20] as well as the Helen Rollason Award for Inspiration at The Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Awards [21][22] in November 2012.

Post Marathon[edit]

Lomas was given the special honour of lighting the Paralympic Cauldron in Trafalgar Square on 24 August 2012 in front of Prime Minister David Cameron, Mayor Boris Johnson and Lord Sebastian Coe.[23][24] She was delighted to light the cauldron in the robotic suit, and relieved she managed it as lifting the torch was quite challenging due to her high injury.

She also started the Leicester Marathon in 2012 and was grateful to not have to go the distance this time![25][26]

New Challenges[edit]

Lomas took on a 400 mile cycle challenge in the UK in April and May 2013 in which she cycled from Nottingham to London using a handbike.[27][28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Paralysed mum Claire Lomas, Leicestershire, bionic suit". This is Leicestershire. 9 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  2. ^ "How do 'bionic legs' help paralysed Claire to walk?". ITV. 8 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  3. ^ Jackson, Emily (8 May 2012). "Paralyzed woman walks marathon in 17 days". TheRecord. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "British Eventing investigates serious accidentsd". Horse & Hound. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  5. ^ "Get Claire Walking Campaign". Get Claire Walking. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  6. ^ "'Bionic' woman Claire Lomas completes London Marathon". BBC News. 8 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  7. ^ Palmer, Alun. "Claire Lomas: The paraplegic marathon mum who knew how to deal with pain". Daily Mirror. London. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  8. ^ "Celebrity supporters". Spinal Research. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "Claire Lomas – one remarkable woman". Snowblog. Blogs.channel4.com. 9 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  10. ^ "Claire Lomas passes £50k London Marathon fundraising target". Horse & Hound. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  11. ^ "Top riders pose naked for Claire Lomas fund-raising calendar". Horse & Hound. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  12. ^ "Matt Hampson's new life after rugby injury". BBC. 27 February 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  13. ^ "Paralysed marathon entrant will finish race today in bionic suit". Civil Society. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  14. ^ "'Bionic' Claire Lomas trained for London Marathon in East Yorkshire". This is Hull and East Riding. 10 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  15. ^ "Paralysed Claire Lomas finishes London Marathon 16 days after it began". Buycott Israel. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  16. ^ Nicholas, Sadie (6 May 2007). "The REAL reason marathon woman deserves a medal: Let down by her ex when she needed him most... and how she found happiness with her husband". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  17. ^ Harris, Paul; Thornhill, Ted (8 May 2012). "Claire Lomas: Paralysed woman completes London Marathon in bionic suit". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  18. ^ "Claire Lomas receives 14 marathon medals". ITV News. 9 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  19. ^ "Presenting the Virgin Trophy". Richard's Blog. Virgin.com. 8 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  20. ^ "Inspiration Awards for Women". London. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  21. ^ "The Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Awards". London. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  22. ^ "The Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Awards". London. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  23. ^ "Claire Lomas lights Paralympic Flame in London". ITV. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  24. ^ "Paralympics 2012: Claire Lomas lights the ceremonial cauldron in Trafalgar Square to launch the torch relay". Telegraph (London). 24 August 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  25. ^ ""I'm just relieved I'm not doing it" - Claire Lomas opens Leicester marathon". ITV. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  26. ^ "Leicester Marathon". ITV. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  27. ^ Furness, Hannah (23 October 2012). "Paralysed marathon walker Claire Lomas thwarted by French in new cycling challenge". Telegraph (London). Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  28. ^ "Claire Lomas finishes 400 mile charity bike ride". ITV News. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 

External links[edit]