A FATHER has told how his daughter was left fighting for her life on a ventilator after an incident involving a heater at a pub.

Children’s nurse Ashleigh Charlesworth suffered burns on her face, chest and hands from the explosion.

She was rushed to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford and was on a ventilator for two days.

The incident happened at the King’s Head pub in Great Cornard, Suffolk.

Ashleigh, from Colchester, and her cousin, who asked not to be named, are still in hospital after sustaining serious injuries which are potentially life-changing. A man in his twenties has been discharged from hospital.


Nurse - Ashleigh Charlesworth 

Ashleigh, 27, worked as a paediatric nurse at Colchester Hospital before moving to Virgin Care.

She has needed a skin graft on her hands and has to wear a special face mask to help heal her facial burns and prevent potential infection.

Her father Paul Charlesworth said: “Someone brought a heater to the pub but it exploded and Ashleigh and her cousin got sprayed in the face.

“They were badly burned and taken to hospital.

“Ashleigh was put on a ventilator for two days and needed operations on her hands.

“The doctors are trying their hardest not to do anything to her face as they hope the skin can heal itself.

“She’s having to wear a special mask on her face still as these types of burns can carry on damaging skin for days.”

The 55-year-old, from Colchester, said it is too early to tell how what degree burns Ashleigh has suffered.

He said: “She is in extreme pain and needs to have her skin chemically cleaned.

“What’s happened has only sunk in for Ashleigh over the last couple of days.

“It’s so unfortunate as she is such a hero who does so much for the NHS.”


Explosion - The King's Head, in Suffolk, where the incident happened

Ashleigh has worked as a nurse throughout the pandemic and has also administered Covid vaccines.

Ashleigh’s sister Stacey is running a Go Fund Me page so people can donate to while she is off work recovering.

More than £2,000 has been raised so far. To donate go to bit.ly/3aWNInx.

Anyone with information about the explosion which happened at 10pm last Saturday should contact Suffolk Police on 101, quoting incident number 37/20827/21.