Paralyzed, Pregnant UK Woman Perseveres, Finishes Half-Marathon in 5 Days

The mom completed the race with the help of a bionic exoskeleton.

September 13, 2016, 11:36 AM

— -- A pregnant, paralyzed woman completed a half-marathon in England in five days with help from a bionic exoskeleton that allows her to walk.

Claire Lomas, 36, became paralyzed from the chest down when she was thrown from a horse in 2007. The accident was especially difficult, Lomas told ABC News today, because she had just reached the "highest level in the sport of Eventing eight months before my accident."

Lomas, who also happened to be sixteen-weeks pregnant while she competed in the half-marathon, is able to walk despite her paralysis, with the help of a robotic exoskeleton, built by the company Re-Walk.

"I have the computer and battery pack on my back and I tilt my pelvis for every step," Lomas said, describing how the bionic walker works.

"It is very hard work physically and mentally, especially with my injury, as I have no core strength and no feeling from the chest down. I can't even feel the ground," Lomas added, "Each slope, bump, hill is a huge obstacle."

On Sunday, she crossed the finish line for the Great North Run, a half-marathon run between Newcastle upon Tyne and South Shields in England.

"When I take something on, I am desperate to give it my all and complete it," Lomas said.

Lomas said she is also motivated to compete in order to raise money for the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation and to "help cure paralysis."

"I feel lucky to have use of my arms," Lomas said, adding that many people with spinal cord injuries do not have use of their arms.

In 2012, Lomas competed in the London Marathon, which she said took her 17 days to complete.

Lomas said she felt "so relieved" when she crossed the finish line. "It was a tough challenge, hardest yet. At times I wondered if I wouldn't make it," Lomas said.

Lomas' 5-year-old daughter, Maisie, competed in the Mini Great North Run on Saturday and raised close to 300 pounds (around $396). Maisie and Dan, Lomas' husband, whom she met a year after her accident, greeted her at the finish line on Sunday.

Lomas said "it is incredible feeling," knowing that her story has inspired so many people around the world.

"I do a lot of speaking events," Lomas added. "I always think if it helps one person in the room it is worth it."

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