Sole survivor of poisonous mushroom lunch that killed three finally allowed home
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The last survivor of a poisonous meal that killed three people has been allowed to go home to continue his recovery after weeks in hospital.
The meal was cooked by Erin Patterson for her former in-laws Gail and Don Patterson, as well as Mrs Patterson’s sister Heather Wilkinson and her husband, Reverend Ian Wilkinson.
The meal, prepared at Erin’s house in Victoria, Australia, was a beef wellington, which is thought to have contained the poisonous mushrooms.
A matter of days after the lunch, Mrs Wilkinson and Mrs Patterson died on August 4, and Mr Patterson died the following day on August 5.
Mr Wilkinson was left in hospital in a critical state until Saturday, when he was allowed home to continue his recovery.
He had been in a coma, but now his family have said that he’s making ‘significant progress’ after getting discharged.
He also needed a liver transplant because of the poisoning, which left him spending 50 days in hospital in total.
A spokesperson for his family said: "This milestone marks a moment of immense relief and gratitude for Ian and the entire Wilkinson family.
"The Wilkinson family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to the Leongatha, Dandenong and Austin Hospitals for their unwavering dedication and exceptional care that played a pivotal role in Ian's recovery.
"The medical team's expertise and compassion have been a source of comfort and hope throughout this journey."
The family has also paid tribute to those who supported them, thanking their community and church for their good will and kindness.
The family statement continued: "This collective kindness has been a pillar of strength for Ian and the family, reinforcing the sense of unity and compassion that defines our community.”
Erin Patterson and her kids – who were also at the meal – did not fall ill, although the children are believed to have eaten something different.
Erin’s ex-husband Simon Patterson had also been supposed to join the dinner, but cancelled at short notice.
An investigation has been launched into the unexplained circumstances that surrounded the deaths.
Ms Patterson was interviewed by police in Victoria but was later released without charge.
However, she remains a suspect in the case.
The 48-year-old has denied any criminal intent and protested her innocence, stating: "The loss to the community and to the families and my own children who have lost their grandmother…I just can't fathom what has happened.
"I'm so sorry that they have lost their lives. I just can't believe it.
"I didn't do anything, I love them and I'm devastated they are gone."