A FAMILY man left wheelchair-bound after a horrific motorcycle accident in Eastbourne is celebrating his sixth year in business.
Richard Hay broke his back and suffered internal injuries when he was knocked off his motorbike by a driver in Langney Rise in 2004.
But he has since set up his own business, RH Precision Routing, in a unit off Courtlands Road, which is going from strength to strength and has seen him supply equipment used on stage in Shrek The Musical, the Wizard of Oz and Mary Poppins in the West End.
Richard produces precision-cut components of various materials for a variety of industries from exhibition and design to joineries, shop fitters, carpenters and graphic designers and will also make one off or multiple items for members of the public or businesses.
Some of Richard’s frames surround mirrors hang in London’s Savoy Hotel and he has also been commissioned for bespoke wardrobes, storage solutions and sign work.
Business is going well for the 41-year-old who lives with his wife Alfreda, known as Freddie, and children Lucas, 10, and eight-year-old Amy in Galveston Close and he has come a long way since the accident.
He had been on his lunch break and was on his way to Pevensey Bay when a woman ploughed into him and knocked him off his motorbike.
He was taken to Eastbourne District General Hospital and also spent time in the Stoke Mandeville Spinal Unit where doctors told him his spine would not mend itself and he would be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
“You can sit at home and mope about it or you can get on with your life,” said Richard, who was brought up in Eastbourne and went to Bishop Bell School before starting work at an exhibition company.
“I had a young family and wanted to get on with my life so I went back to work but then decided to set up my own business.
“This unit is perfect because I can get around no problem.”
The business has now turned into something of a family affair with Freddie working alongside him.
“I am very proud of Richard and all that he has achieved,” said Freddie. “The accident changed our life but we coped with it and adjusted and things are going very well.”