SPORTS

Paralyzed Pregnant Woman Uses Exoskeleton To Complete Half-Marathon

Using the contraption, she said, takes "concentration with every step."

Taking five days to complete a half-marathon may not seem impressive.

That is, until you learn the woman who did it is paralyzed from the chest down and 16 weeks pregnant.

Claire Lomas began the Great North Run in northeast England on Wednesday and finished Sunday afternoon. The 36-year-old Lomas averaged 3 miles a day using a “bionic suit” that helped her move and lift her legs during the marathon, according to the BBC.

“It’s taken some learning. It’s not just physical work, it’s the concentration with every step,” she said. “It doesn’t just walk for me. I have to use the parts that aren’t paralyzed to make it walk.”

Claire Lomas, who was injured in a riding accident, leaving her paralyzed, crosses the finish line in the Great North Run hal
Claire Lomas, who was injured in a riding accident, leaving her paralyzed, crosses the finish line in the Great North Run half-marathon in South Shields, north east England, on Sunday.

Lomas was paralyzed from the chest down after a horseback riding accident in 2007. Despite the challenges she’s faced as a result, Lomas believes people with spinal injuries should stay as active as possible.

“It’s good for your health, anyway, whether you are [an active person] or not,” she told the Guardian, adding that there are also mental health benefits. 

Lomas made the walk with the help of a robotic exoskeleton that she purchased after raising around $66,000. The suit, made by ReWalk Robotics of Israel, uses lightweight braces and a series of sensors so users can rotate joints and control movement with their upper body, according to BT.com.

Lomas had to use crutches for balance. Her husband Dan helped out as well.

This isn’t the first time Lomas has competed using the exoskeleton. In 2012, she also walked the London marathon and finished in 16 days, according to Slate.

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
Absolutely Inspiring Photos To Get You Pumped For The Paralympics