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Peterlee engineer Jim looks to a positive future after recovering from near fatal hit and run

Dec 23, 2020 | Business

An experienced design engineer is looking towards a positive future and rebuilding his three businesses after being left in an induced coma following a near fatal hit and run.

Jim Box was successfully running Be Smart Solutions, Be-Recycled.com and 3D Printing when he was hit by a drink and drug driver in July 2019.

The dad of two from Peterlee was walking home with his wife Joanne and another couple following a night out at Shotton Hall Banqueting Suite when a car mounted a curb and hit them.

Jim was left most seriously injured, suffering a bleed on the brain, a smashed jaw, a cracked cheekbone, seven broken ribs, a punctured lung and lacerated liver.

He was blue-lighted to hospital where his condition was so serious that doctors made the decision to put him in an induced coma to allow his body the best possible chance to stabilise.

Not only was it touch and go whether Jim would recover, but while he was in hospital his businesses were put on hold and he wasn’t sure whether he would ever be well enough to get back to them.

But now, 17 months later, Jim is back at work and looking towards a positive future running all three companies.

The 47-year-old said: “It’s been a funny old year for us all but for me, the coronavirus pandemic was a bit of a blessing in disguise.

“That’s because following my nine weeks in hospital, two of which were spent in an induced coma, I faced a huge challenge as I began the long road to recovery. I was starting from scratch in so many ways and the businesses couldn’t be, and weren’t, my focus. It had to be my health. So, when we went into lockdown, it gave me the time I needed to work on my physical recovery without worrying about meeting client deadlines.

“Now, although I still see a physiotherapist each week, I am back at work and very much looking ahead to a positive future.

“Existing clients are back on board and I’ve had new companies come to me with projects, so I feel like despite the tough year it’s been in so many ways, I am ending it with a renewed optimism and confidence as we head towards 2021.”

Jim, who runs his businesses from a home office, is looking forward to spending Christmas with his family before beginning the new year with plans to invest in all three businesses.

Be Smart Solutions is a specialist CAD and design engineering company working with some of region’s leading businesses, while Be-Recycled.com customises old gin and wine bottles to create personal gifts for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and other celebratory occasions.

Jim added: “After everything that’s happened to me and seeing the way 2020 has gone, I feel incredibly lucky to be here. I am definitely looking forward to some time off over Christmas but am already making plans to grow my businesses and am excited for what 2021 has in store for me.”