Claire inspired to meet pioneer

Claire Lomas with David Nicholls (centre), founder of the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation (NSIF), and Darek Fidyka, the first patient to have a ground-breaking cell transplant to help him walk again EMN-150602-103710001
Claire Lomas with David Nicholls (centre), founder of the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation (NSIF), and Darek Fidyka, the first patient to have a ground-breaking cell transplant to help him walk again EMN-150602-103710001
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Meeting a man who is able to walk again thanks to ground-breaking surgery has inspired paralysed fundraiser Claire Lomas to work even harder to help find a cure.

Darek Fidyka had cells transplanted from his nasal cavity to his spinal cord in a Polish hospital after a knife attack left him with no feeling below the chest.

His story was featured on BBC documentary programme Panorama last year.

And Claire, from Eye Kettleby, got the chance to meet him thanks to the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation (NSIF), the charity for which she has raised almost £500,000 in the quest to find a paralysis cure.

Following the meeting with Darek, at a London hotel, Claire said: “To see Darek walk into the room was truly inspiring.

“You could see his muscles actually working to help him to walk which was amazing.”

Also at the meeting was the surgeon who carried out the operation, Dr Pawel Tabakow, and Professor Geoff Raisman, who led the research.

Claire is next planning a 150-mile handcycle effort.