GALLERY: Claire Lomas visits Letchworth school to give inspirational talk

Claire Lomas about to embark on her 400 mile cycle ride around Britain raising money for two spinal

Claire Lomas about to embark on her 400 mile cycle ride around Britain raising money for two spinal research charities - Credit: Archant

STUDENTS at a secondary school were treated to an inspirational talk by a woman, who has been left paralysed following an accident, as she passed through Comet country while on her charity cycle ride.

On Monday, Claire Lomas took time out of her gruelling schedule to give a talk to about 400 St Christopher School students in Letchworth GC.

The married mother-of-one, who was an event rider until a freak accident left her paralysed from the chest down, spoke to students about the incident in May 2007 and her life since.

The 33–year–old was left with serious injuries while competing at Osberton Horse Trials. She collided with a tree, which resulted in fractures to her neck, back and ribs. She suffered a punctured lung, pneumonia, had to have a tracheotomy to help her breathe and was in intensive care for 10 days.

The fracture in her back caused damage to Claire’s spinal cord.


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Speaking to the students, she said: “I never gave up when I was told that I would never walk again. I told the doctors they didn’t know who they were dealing with. For someone who has never sat still, my life was turned upside down, but I now feel that I have been given a second chance in life.”

Asked if she would change anything that happened on the day of her accident, she said: “I think my life is better now. I am very happy with what I have. My daughter is my priority and I am in a position where I can help others too.”

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Claire has taken on the challenge of cycling 400 miles through England, on a specially adapted bike which means she uses her hands to pedal, to raise money for The Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation and Spinal Research.

This week saw her travel through Letchworth GC, Baldock, Shefford and Hitchin.

Speaking after the talk, Year 9 student Alastair Jones, 14, said: “It was very inspirational and her talk has inspired me to never give up.”

Deputy headteacher of St Christopher School, Emma-Kate Henry, said: “It was a truly inspirational visit from a remarkable woman and athlete. We’re very proud for her to have visited St Christopher and we wish her every success in her journey.”

Confined to a wheelchair, Claire’s first challenge was last year, when she took part in the London Marathon.

To complete the 26.2miles Claire walked the marathon in 17 days using the ReWalk robotic suit, which helps people with paraplegia walk standing in an upright position. She raised £210,000 for Spinal Research.

To follow and support Claire visit www.claireschallenge.co.uk/

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