A CARPENTER has found an unusual way to turn his life around since discovering he is epileptic and losing his driving licence and job.
Jim Knock, 47, from Hartland, first realised he was epileptic after he crashed his car two years ago on the A39 while having a seizure.
He said the people in the car behind him saw him suddenly slump forward and veer across the road into the verge.
Luckily there was no on-coming traffic. Jim had no recollection of the accident until he woke up strapped to a spinal board.
At the time of the accident Jim was employed by a North Devon firm. He was in charge of a team who fitted shop interiors across the country for stores such as Harrods and Selfridges.
But when Jim returned to work after the accident he found many of his responsibilities had been removed because of his epilepsy.
He said: “I felt really disempowered. I wasn’t allowed to use the machinery and, because I couldn’t drive, I couldn’t take a team around.
“Slowly I started seeing others being promoted above me and then four months ago I was made redundant.
“I went into a dark hole after that, I didn’t know what I could do and I feared losing my house.
“I just thought ‘who is going to employ an epileptic carpenter who can’t get his tools around?’
“I thought the only way I can maintain safety is by starting something myself.”
As a result Jim has started making bespoke chicken coops from home.
So far Jim has taken his coops, which he started making a month ago, to three country shows and said he has had a lot of interest.
He said: “I had to think of something which was small enough to design and make in my garage and that the materials could be delivered to my home because I can’t drive to get them.
“I used to have chickens myself and there seems to have been a resurgence of people keeping chickens so I thought nice coops would be popular.”
Jim’s coops are generally for up to six hens and have been specifically designed to give them extra comfort.
To find out more, visit www.jameshenrycoops.co.uk or call Jim on 01237 441568.