One of the most amazing things I saw at NAIDEX this year was the bionic suit created by ReWalk which provides an exoskeleton for amputees and quadriplegics. Claire Lomas is a shining example of how robotics and determination can work together to achieve greatness.
Claire Lomas, from Leicestershire, was paralysed from the chest down in a riding accident in 2007.
She began the half marathon, which runs from Newcastle to South Shields, on Wednesday and crossed the finish line at about 10:00 BST.
The 36-year-old, who is 16 weeks pregnant, said she was “over the moon” to finish the run.
She broke her neck, back and ribs and punctured a lung when her horse threw her off as she took part in the Osberton Horse Trials in Nottinghamshire.
Mrs Lomas has no feeling below her chest and used a ReWalk robotic exoskeleton, which relies on motion sensors to help her move and lift her legs to walk the route.
“It doesn’t just walk for me. I have to use the parts that aren’t paralysed to make it walk.”
She walked about three miles a day with the help of her husband Dan and was met at the finish line by her five-year-old daughter Maisie.
She said she had struggled to train because of morning sickness which meant there were times when she did not think she would make it to the start.
“I had quite a lot of morning sickness. I didn’t have the lead up I wanted, but I really did not want to lose this opportunity,” she said.
In 2012, Mrs Lomas completed the London Marathon in last place, inspiring many people with her courage and determination.