Late is not always a bad thing.
In the London Marathon this year the very last competitor to cross the finish line (the last of 36,000) was Claire Lomas. She was not only last but she passed the finish line 16 days after the race was over. Oh, she started with all the rest but that is how long it took her to complete her dream. You see Claire is not your typical athlete. She was paralyzed from the chest down in a horse riding accident back in 2007. For many people that would certainly end any dreams of marathoning. But not Claire.
How could someone paralysed from he chest down possibly complete a marathon? Well she wore the Re-walk suite. The Re-walk suit is an exoskeleton that helps people stand and walk again and is made by ARGO Medical Technologies Ltd. (Check out a video at the bottom of the blog if you would like to know more about this device.)
Back to Claire Lomas: You need to know that even with the suit it took a lot of practice for her to be able to walk that distance in that suit. One thing that the suit has not overcome is keeping balance and that is the reason for the need of the canes. You may have noticed Claire's husband Dan walking in step with her to help her maintain her balance. If you look closely at the video below you can even see her daughter Maize too.
Claire has clearly done something that many thought was impossible and I for one am grateful for her sacrifice to once again show the world that desire and effort can come together to do the impossible.
|Due to the rules of the marathon, Claire did not receive a medal when she completed it so many days late. But several of the runners who did receive a medal donated them to her for her great effort.|
Here is the video about the Re-walker. Interestingly enough Dr. Amit Goffer the designer of the Re-walker is himself in a wheel chair and though he has designed the Re-walker it is not able to help him to overcome his physical problems to be able to walk.