Many doors had slammed closed, and it was difficult for Claire Lomas not to dwell on all she had lost. If she was going to move forwards, she needed to dig deep to find the strength, determination and courage to rebuild her life. She did just that- to an unforeseeable and extraordinary degree. Claire had a career as a chiropractor and she had just reached the highest level in the sport of eventing, when a collision with a tree in 2007 left her with catastrophic injuries. She dislocated her spine, fractured her neck and ribs, punctured a lung and was fighting for her life in intensive care.
The dislocation resulted in severe spinal cord damage and Claire became paralysed from the chest down. Her life changed in a split second. She went from an active sportswomen whose dreams were coming true and goals were set high to a life where Claire faced huge daily obstacles which ever direction she turned. The simplest of tasks were now hugely challenging. As well as losing the use of two-thirds of her body, she was forced to say good-bye to her sport, her career and then her four year relationship ended too. Claire felt at rock bottom; both her confidence and self-esteem were at an all time low. Not many months after her accident, Claire started to work again, ableit very different to what she used to do and she found enjoyment in a new sport – skiing. Gradually, bit by bit she pieced her life back together.
In 2012, Claire Lomas made headline news all over the world as she walked the London Marathon in a pioneering robotic suit. It took a gruelling 17 days and raised a staggering £220k for charity. The following year, Claire completed a 400 mile handcycle around parts of England, visiting schools on the way to teach hundreds of pupils some valuable life lessons, raising another £85k for the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation.
Claire Lomas became known as the ‘bionic woman’ as she completed the Great North Run whilst 16 weeks pregnant taking her 5 days, the Great South Run which she walked throughout the night and the Greater Manchester Marathon where she managed to reach the finish line in 9 days, smashing her former record by 8 days. She was awarded an MBE in 2017 for her numerous fundraising efforts, she is married to Dan who she met just a year after her accident, has two daughters, is the author of two books, has spoken at hundreds of events worldwide and has become a highly thought of female motivational speaker, gained her motorcycle race licence and private pilot’s licence.
Unsurprisingly, Claire is often the only female and only wheelchair user at the airfield or on the track but there is one thing for sure, she loves pushing the boundaries. There is no stopping her. Claire is constantly challenging her limits. She has not let her disability define her but it has certainly redefined her, achieving some unimaginable feats and consequently inspiring people all over the world. Claire does not believe the sky is the limit.
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