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Business & Economy

Design engineer Jim planning business success after near fatal hit-and-run

A design engineer says he 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 hit by a drink and drug driver in July 2019.

The dad-of-two from Peterlee, east Durham, 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.

Jim – who runs Be Smart Solutions, and 3D Printing – suffered a bleed on the brain, a smashed jaw, a cracked cheekbone, seven broken ribs, a punctured lung and lacerated liver.

While he was in hospital, Jim’s 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, he is back at work.

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, will spend Christmas with his family, and says he will start the new year with plans to invest across his three businesses.

Be Smart Solutions is a CAD and design engineering company working with some of the region’s leading businesses, while 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.”