A friend of mine lives in Manchester and on Tuesday, whilst checking my Facebook, I saw a post that she had written about a local event. I live at the opposite end of the country but something made me read on. How glad am I that I did. Since we launched Banana Crumble we have heard and written about so many inspirational stories and people, each one is absolutely amazing. However, when I read this story I was absolutely gobsmacked by the story and all the information I read about her.
Claire Lomas, up until 2007, was a chiropractor and a keen horsewoman, competing in many competitions. It was in that year at the Osberton Horse Trials that Claire was thrown from her horse in an accident where she fractured her neck, back and ribs damaging her spinal cord. She also punctured a lung and needed a tracheotomy. She had to have surgery and they put titanium rods in her back but were unable to repair the damage and she was told that she many never walk again.
Moving forward Claire is now married and has two children Maisie and Chloe. What a remarkable story! But if that isn’t remarkable enough what Claire has achieved in the years since her accident is nothing other than truely inspirational. Claire uses a “bionic suit” which she uses to help her take steps. She completed the London marathon in 2012 taking a total of 17 days raising thousands of pounds for charity along the way. The suit that she wore in 2012 has now been improved and with that and the fact that Claire herself is fitter than she was then she has taken on the challenge of the Manchester Marathon. She has now reached the halfway stage and is hoping to complete the total distance in a shorter number of days than the London Marathon. With the weather in Manchester being damp, it means that the pavement is slippery and as Claire has no feeling in her legs at all the crutches can slip so her husband literally walks behind her every step of the way to help her should she fall.
Claire was interviewed yesterday on BBC Breakfast and she was just so positive and smiley that I felt we needed to write something about her, her challenge and to mention her charities. In the interview Claire said how thankful she was that she still had use of her hands and that so many people have neck injuries which mean they lose use of both their hands and feet. She was just so positive and I feel that by telling her story we can not only inspire people with spinal injuries but help everyday people realise that you can achieve things and as we say at Banana Crumble life isn’t all doom and gloom and there is so much to be thankful for.
Since hearing about Claire and her amazing story I was struck by her words. She seems to tell it as it is, she talks about the desperate despair after her accident and wishing that she hadn’t made it through. She talks about showering and not feeling the water on her legs and is unable to tell if it is hot and cold. She talks about rebuilding her life and how far she has come in such an amazing 11 years since her accident. She says that however hard the marathons are they are nothing in comparison to rebuilding her life after the accident.
Claire met her husband Dan two years after the accident and they now have two children. Claire says her daughters inspired her as she rebuilt her life. Since Claire has found the inner strength to carry on she has thrown her herself into fundraising and it is for this reason that she was awarded an MBE. Claire has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to help charities involved with paralysis.
We will keep following Claire’s progress and update you when she finishes in what will hopefully be a new record for her. If you want to help Claire raise funds for The Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation and awareness of her challenge you can follow her on the following
or to donate…
Text “LEGS 60 £5” to 70070