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. Her relationship of four years ended ten months after her accident and although Claire felt at rock bottom, she was determined not to sit back and feel sorry for herself. She signed onto an internet dating site where she met Dan, who later became her husband. She gave birth to their daughter in 2011. She also found new sports including skiing, set up a business and organised fundraising events. Her life was totally different but it did have one similarity, she was busy again.
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 London’s Trafalgar Square. 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. She is constantly thinking of ways to raise money and strongly believes there will soon be a cure.
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 during her talk which fascinates and astounds audiences with its 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”.
"Your talk was great, everyone is still talking about you. You are an inspiration and we are all honoured to have met you."
Testimonials “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."
"What an inspirational story. Claire conveys it so eloquently and movingly. Great feedback from all who attended the conference, we all hung off every word." (2015)
"Claire communicates in clear and moving language her simple message that no matter how great the challenge, never give up. She is a true inspiration." (2015)