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Fire-eating nursing assistant seriously hurt in talent show accident

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A healthcare support worker from Hampshire is in hospital with serious burns after her fire-eating act at an NHS staff talent show went wrong.

Kristy Cullum was performing at the event at the Theatre Royal in Winchester on Saturday when she reportedly slipped and set herself alight.

“Our thoughts are with our colleague and we all wish her a quick recovery”

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Medical colleagues who were watching from the crowd at the NHS’ Got Talent fundraiser provided her with immediate support before she was rushed to hospital by the emergency services. 

Ms Cullum, who is an employee at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is receiving treatment at Salisbury District Hospital’s specialist burns unit, where she is said to be in a stable condition. 

The trust said the incident was “upsetting for everybody involved” and it was offering support sessions at Royal Hampshire County Hospital and Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital for those affected. 

The event, which was raising money for the Winchester Hospice Appeal, was stopped following the accident, which took place just before the end of the first half of the show. 

In a statement, the trust said: “Our thoughts are with our colleague and we all wish her a quick recovery. We are in contact with her family and have offered them our support.”

The trust added that it was supporting the theatre with its review of the accident. 

Deryck Newland, chief executive of Live Theatre Winchester Trust, the charity which runs the theatre, said: “This was an upsetting incident for everyone involved and we wish the individual involved a full and speedy recovery.

“Our team acted swiftly and deserve great credit for doing everything they could to manage the situation professionally and calmly,” he added. 

“I have spoken to the chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals trust, whose event it was, and we understand that the performer is being treated at Salisbury District Hospital’s specialist burns service so is in the best possible place,” said Mr Newland. 

fundraising appeal set up for Ms Cullum and her family by colleagues has raised more than £500.

The page reads: “Due to an accident at the Theatre Royal Winchester on Saturday evening during a fundraising event for the Winchester Hospice our friend and colleague was injured and taken to hospital where they are being treated.

“Understandably they will be off work whilst recovering and this page has been set up by work colleagues so that we can help to make sure support is there if needed,” it added.

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