Claire Lomas, Paralyzed Woman, Finishes London Marathon In Bionic Suit

It took her 16 days, but a paralyzed woman from England crossed the London Marathon finish line last week, becoming the first person ever to complete a marathon in a 'bionic' suit, ABC News reports.

Claire Lomas was paralyzed from the chest down after she broke her back in a freak horse-riding accident in 2007.

Doctors told the 32-year-old mom -- once a professional horse rider and chiropractor -- that she would never walk again.

But now, thanks to a $75,000 bionic suit that allows her to walk by detecting shifts in her balance, Lomas is back on her feet and taking great strides for spinal cord research, BBC News reports.

Lomas, alongside 35,000 other competitors, started in the 26.2-mile London Marathon on April 22.

With her husband Dan, mother Joyce and 13-month-old daughter Maisie by her side, Lomas walked about two miles a day to complete the course. More than a fortnight later, on May 8th, a tearful Lomas crossed the finish line as thousands of cheering supporters urged her forward.

"The support has been breathtaking and it feels fantastic to finally finish," Lomas, who was given a guard of honor by members of the Household Cavalry and the Virgin endurance trophy by CEO Richard Branson's daughter Holly, told the UK's Sun.

"I really didn’t expect this and I can’t quite believe it’s all for me. Everyone has been so supportive and I couldn’t have done it without them."

Lomas -- who said her finish line moment is one she will "treasure for the rest of [her] life" -- has raised more than $100,000 for spinal cord research, ABC News reports.

According to the BBC, the marathon organizers have been criticized for insisting that Lomas would not appear in the official results or receive a medal for finishing, as rules state competitors must complete the course on the same day.

However, Lomas told ITV News that she has received fourteen medals from members of the public who ran the marathon.

"She has epitomized what I thought the London Marathon was all about," said Jacqui Rose, one of the competitors who donated her medal to Lomas. "That medal, when you have completed it and gone through all the pain of it, symbolizes that achievement of what you have gone out of your way to do for charity. For her not to have got one ridicules what the marathon was all about."