Paralyzed Woman to Prepares For Marathon
Claire Lomas, 32, from Eye Kettleby, near Melton, will be attempting to complete the 26-mile route in her ReWalk suit after being left paralysed from the chest down following a horse riding accident in 2007.
The mother of one will start the race with thousands of others this Sunday and hopes to complete 1.5 miles each day. Celebrities including Gabby Logan and former tennis star Tim Henman will be lending their support by walking a mile each with her along part of the route, while her husband Dan, mother Joyce and 13-month-old daughter Maisie will be cheering her on from the sidelines.
The challenge is expected to take Mrs Lomas several weeks to complete, depending on the weather, and she is hoping to raise more than £50,000 for Spinal Research, a charity which funds medical research around the world to develop reliable treatments for paralysis caused by a broken back or neck.
Taking a break from training in her suit at a clinic in Hull, Mrs Lomas said: “Even standing in it is a challenge. The suit so far has been difficult, challenging and frustrating but it’s got better. It’s took some getting used to but once you’ve found your balance it’s ok.
“When you’ve not been used to being upright and you haven’t got sensation, you feel vulnerable and you know you can fall so it’s about getting confidence on your feet but after spending hours in the suit you can get that.”
Mrs Lomas broke her neck, back and ribs and punctured a lung when her horse Rolled Oats threw her off as she took part in the Osberton Horse Trials in Nottinghamshire in 2007.
She said: “I suffered a spinal chord injury to my back which left me paralysed from the chest down. I’d just got to the top level and competed at the Burley Horse trials so it was a massive shock to suddenly realise you’re not going to walk or event again.”