Bionic Woman Unfazed by Paralysis as She Completes Marathon

By Dina Ginzburg

In 2007, Claire Lomas was paralyzed from the chest down as a result of a horse riding accident. The idea of her walking, let alone completing a marathon, was unimaginable back then. However, thanks to new technology, Claire was able to participate in the London Marathon.

A suit was designed that allows her to walk when it detects changes in her balance through motion sensors, which has given her the nickname “Bionic Woman.” When she leans forward, the suits makes her take a step thus allowing her to walk (although relatively slowly.) If you’re a Gleek, you may recognize this concept from the GLEE episode in season two when Artie got a similar suit for Christmas.

It took Claire 16 days to complete the marathon, but she was supported by cheering fans and famous athletes the whole way through. After her accident, her goal in life was to raise money for Spinal Research, the charity that works to find new ways to help people who have back and neck injuries. So far, she’s raised about $160,000. It’s unfair that she wasn’t awarded a participation medal like everyone else, but London Marathon rules state that only people who finish on the same day as everyone else can get a medal. Well, we think that getting the chance to walk again is worth more than a medal anyway!