Claire Lomas

Claire Lomas was working as a chiropractor and had reached the highest level in the sport of eventing when a freak accident left her paralysed from the chest down. She had gone from living a life as an active sportswomen whose dreams were coming true to a life that seemed impossible to ever be happy.

The simplest of tasks were now a challenge for Claire. Many doors had closed, and it was difficult not to dwell on all she had lost. She had to dig deep to find the strength and courage to rebuild her life from scratch. Claire discharged herself from hospital after only 8 weeks, determined to do as much rehabilitation as possible. She spent hours in the gym but also recognised that she needed more than this in her life.

In 2012 Claire became headline news worldwide. She walked the London Marathon in a pioneering robotic suit. It took a grueling 17 days and raised £210k for Spinal Research. She became the first owner of a robotic suit, and used it when she had the honour of lighting the Paralympic cauldron in trafalgar square.

Claire speaks about the split second that changed her life, and candidly describes the darkest times. This is combined with humour which has helped Claire get through some embarrassing moments that her injury has caused. The audience go through the extreme roller-coaster of emotions with Claire; they cry, they laugh and they admire. She demonstrates the robotic suit, and you could hear a pin drop as everyone is fascinated by the pioneering technology. As Claire walks across the room, people are in awe that she managed 26.2 miles in the streets of London when she can’t even feel the ground beneath her.

Claire talks about the gradual process of turning her situation around, and surprisingly how the five best days of her life have all been after her devastating injury. She describes the turning point which was when she stopped thinking of everything she could no longer do, and instead the many things she could still do. Claire challenges her audience to raise their sights, make their own luck by taking opportunities and be the best they can be. People leave the room believing in themselves, inspired and hugely motivated. When faced with challenges in their own lives, Claire’s words stick in their mind “Whether you believe you can or whether you believe you can’t – you are right”.

In 2013 Claire completed a 400 mile handcycle around parts of England, visiting schools on the way to inspire pupils, raising another £85k supporting the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation.

Constantly looking for new ways to satisfy her inner thrill-seeker, Claire is now learning to race motorbikes! She is constantly thinking of ways to raise money and in 2015 Claire’s fundraising shot above £500k. She truly is one of Britain’s most inspirational women.

“Brilliant and inspiring! Amazing, so inspirational! Very open and honest…Awesome! The feedback from delegates says it all – I could write all 120 comments, they are all creditable. This is the first time we have had complete 100% ‘excellent’ feedback regarding the chosen guest speaker. Without any doubt, Claire Lomas was the perfect guest speaker for this event – she has achieved what she set out to do and more. Her incredible honesty about her journey and experience was inspirational and impressive and a lesson to us all on determination and courage. Claire is an intelligent, captive speaker, who delivered so many valuable messages regarding achieving personal potential, following your dreams, aiming high and remaining positive. A credit to all that heard her speak.” – Thames Valley Police

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