'Bionic' Claire Lomas trained for London Marathon in East Yorkshire
A WOMAN paralysed from the chest down who finished the London Marathon using a robotic suit trained for the feat in East Yorkshire.
It took Claire Lomas 16 days to walk every step of the gruelling world-famous 26.2-mile course.
She is the first person to complete the race in the ReWalk suit, manufactured in Israel, but distributed exclusively in the UK by Cyclone Technologies, of Ottringham.
Claire, 32, used a rehabilitation centre, opened last month at the company's headquarters, to train for the marathon.
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Rosemary Vaux, spokesman for the firm, said: "Claire was very determined. She would regularly travel from her home in Leicestershire to use our facility.
"We are extremely pleased she completed the course."
Claire, a jewellery designer, crossed the finish line flanked by the Household Cavalry and hundreds of emotional supporters.
Mrs Vaux said the £43,000 suit, which Claire likens to Wallace and Gromit's "wrong trousers", is not suitable for everyone.
She said: "There has to be some movement in hands and arms to operate the system
"And a lot of training is involved.
"You can't simply put the suit on and start walking.
"Claire, for instance, began her training in January."
Claire was supported by husband Dan and their one-year-old daughter Maisie, who toddled the last few metres in front of her brave mum.
Claire said she felt "fantastic" as she crossed the finish line at The Mall in central London on Tuesday to applause from the crowds.
Claire broke her neck, back and ribs and punctured a lung when her horse threw her off during a trial in 2007.
Since starting the marathon on April 22, Claire managed about two miles a day.
Holly Branson, daughter of tycoon Richard, was at the finish line waiting to give Claire the Virgin trophy for endurance.
The company, which sponsors the race, hands out the award annually.
She said of Claire: "It was so emotional when she crossed that line. Tears welled up in my eyes and everyone was cheering."
Claire, of Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, raised more than £86,000 for Spinal Research – a charity funding medical research to develop reliable treatments for paralysis caused by a broken back or neck.