I could either sit there and think about what I’d not got, what I had lost, and the list felt very very long…. or I had the choice of thinking of what I had got, being grateful, and what I could do, what was possible for me.
– Claire Lomas
Claire Lomas’s (@claire80lomas) life turned upside down on 6th May 2007 when she became paralysed from the chest down in a horse riding accident. Claire fractured her neck, dislocated her back, fractured ribs, punctured a lung and got pneumonia. Luckily the neck fracture didn’t damage the spinal cord but the dislocation to the vertebra T4 left her paralysed from the chest down. Claire was a Chiropractor and top level event rider when this freak accident left her unable to do the things she loved.
Although Claire was determined from the start to make the best out of the situation there were plenty of days Claire struggled to even get the motivation to get out of bed. She discharged herself from hospital after only 8 weeks, did a lot of rehab (and still does) and over time she found strength and courage to rebuild her life by finding new interests and work as well as raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for research.
Despite fertility concerns a year after her accident Claire met and later married Dan, and they had a baby girl – Maisie. She found some new sports (skiing, handcycling, motorbikes), set up a business and fundraised to help get a cure for paralysis. Claire always says she feels so lucky to have the use of her arms, and seeing so many of the patients in the hospital unable to move at all gave her the drive to fundraise as much as possible.
In 2012 Claire became headline news worldwide. She was the first (and only) paralysed person to walk the London Marathon, she did it in a pioneering robotic suit. It took 17 days and raised £210,000 for Spinal Research. She was then invited to light the Paralympic cauldron in Trafalgar Square.
Claire is currently learning to fly a Flexwing Microlight with a goal of obtaining her Private Pilot Licence in the next year.
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