A man has revealed how he narrowly survived after eating his wife’s spaghetti bolognese, which was mixed with mushrooms.
Simon Claringbold was a fit and healthy 39-year-old who ran marathons when he got to the plate, but just 18 hours later he became seriously ill and was eventually rushed to hospital.
Mushrooms he picked from his backyard in Canberra earlier that day, thinking they were field mushrooms, were actually death caps, the same variety believed to have been eaten in the Leongatha tragedy in the Gippsland region of Victoria. in the last days.
Erin Patterson, 48, had invited her former in-laws, Gail and Don Patterson, and Gail’s sister and her husband, Heather and Ian Wilkinson, to a beef lunch at her home.
Now three of his four guests are dead from suspected mushroom poisoning and Mr Wilkinson is fighting for his life in hospital.
Mr Claringbold was gardening in his Canberra backyard when he spotted the death cap (above), which he mistook for ordinary field mushrooms.
Mr. Claringbold revealed that the only reason he survived the traumatic experience while the others did not was pure luck. Doctors told him at the time that some death hat mushrooms are deadlier than others because they contain varying levels of toxins.
‘Your toxin levels are not going to be consistent; it’s not like taking a pill out of a bottle,’ Claringbold said.
“Sometimes some will have more toxin than others and it was just an opportunity that you didn’t ingest enough to overcome.”
Mr Claringbold fell ill the day after he ate his wife’s bolognese and went to see his GP after suffering from severe vomiting and diarrhoea.
“He (the doctor) looked at me and took me to Canberra Hospital. And my wife gave me a part of the mushroom in a paper bag and I took that too,’ he told the ABC 7:30.
“The liver specialist looked at the mushrooms and basically said, ‘Oh yeah, that’s a death cap mushroom.’
I didn’t even know death mushrooms existed.
Mr Claringbold was airlifted to the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney and taken to the acute liver ward.
He soon began hallucinating and blacking out as the effects of the toxins took over.
‘I was preparing for the end, I really thought it was the end. The lights were starting to go down,” she said.
Miraculously, Mr Claringbold finally recovered from the poisoning and was released from hospital 11 days later.
He was airlifted to Royal Prince Alfred in Sydney and remained in hospital for 11 days. During his hospital stay, he began to hallucinate and lose consciousness due to the effects of the toxins.
What happens when you suffer from mushroom poisoning?
Michael Robertson, a director of Independent Forensic Consulting who has spent years analyzing poisonous substances, told ABC News that the harmful effects of the fungus on the human body are not felt instantly.
“It’s a bit like paracetamol in that sense. You can take an overdose of acetaminophen and you can get a little sick for a day and then recover,” said Dr. Robertson.
He said the toxin from the wild mushroom slowly starts to stop the liver from working.
“But what’s happening in the body is it’s poisoning the liver, and that’s when people die,” he said.
The deadly substance in the mushroom prevents a vital chemical in the liver known as RNA polymerase II, which decodes our DNA, from blocking the drug.
The deadly toxin’s strength overwhelms the protein produced by the liver, causing severe illness.
The time it takes before people start to get sick from eating the mushrooms can vary.
Mr. Claringbold’s recollection of his accidental death-hat mushroom poisoning comes as solicitors acting for deadly mushroom chef Erin were forced to camp out in front of his home to hand-deliver legal instructions to him after they she disappeared on Thursday.
Ms Patterson told a group of waiting media just before 10am that she was on her way to visit her lawyers in Melbourne.
But a representative of that law firm was seen waiting outside his home in Leongatha at around 5pm to hand-deliver a letter from the firm.
The man told Daily Mail Australia it was the only way Patterson could be contacted after detectives from the homicide squad seized his phone and computing devices.
It comes as police were seen taking a drive-by tour of Mrs. Patterson’s home just before sunset.
Lawyers representing Ms Patterson are understood to be concerned for her well-being amid the media firestorm outside her rural property.
The legal representative did not answer questions about the content of the letter or whether charges against Ms. Patterson were imminent.
Erin and her two children did not get sick from lunch, as it is understood that they ate a separate meal.
Daily Mail Australia is not suggesting that Erin is in any way responsible for the deaths and she has denied any wrongdoing.
Sources told Daily Mail Australia that Erin had invited her ex-husband Simon for lunch at their old family home as part of a church mediation.
The revelation that Erin wanted to get back together with her estranged husband, who backed out of lunch at the last minute, comes amid reports that the deadly dish he served was a meatloaf.
A source close to Simon, who remains in hiding days after the tragedy, said his partner had no interest in getting back together with the mother of their two children.
Erin Patterson (pictured), who is at the center of the alleged poisoning of four people, has denied any wrongdoing.
Ian Wilkinson and Heather Wilkinson (both pictured) became seriously ill after eating wild mushrooms. Ms Wilkinson died on Friday while her husband remains in critical condition at hospital.
Erin hosted a luncheon with her former in-laws, Gail and Don, along with Gail’s sister Heather and her husband Ian at their home in Leongatha on July 29 (Leongatha home pictured)
Gail and Don Patterson died after eating the mushrooms. Erin was previously married to her son, Simon.
They went to his house for a mediation to talk to the family. Simon was supposed to go there for lunch, but he backed out at the last minute; otherwise he would be on that deathbed too,” the friend said Thursday.
The friend claimed that Mrs. Patterson was desperate to get back together with her estranged husband.
“She wanted to go back to Simon and the family didn’t want Simon to go back to her,” he said.
“Basically, they didn’t think she was good enough for him in his eyes.
‘This was not just a lunch, it was an intervention with the pastor as a mediator. That’s why this lunch happened.
Meanwhile, police returned to a dump in Koonwarra on Wednesday to request CCTV footage after a discarded dehydrator was found on the site.
It was previously revealed that detectives are looking into whether a food dehydrator was used to prepare the meal and then thrown away a day after lunch.
Police are believed to be conducting forensic tests on the device.
Erin has not answered questions about where the mushrooms came from, who picked them, or what food she prepared for her four guests (picked mushrooms in the photo)
MUSHROOM POISONING: A TIMELINE OF EVENTS
Saturday, July 29
Don and Gail Patterson and Heather and Ian Wilkinson (a pastor) meet for lunch at Erin Patterson’s home in Leongatha, north-east Melbourne.
Sunday, July 30
The four lunch guests show up at the hospital feeling ill. Initially it was thought that they had gastro.
As their condition deteriorates, they are transferred to hospitals in Melbourne.
Friday, August 4
Gail and Heather die at the hospital.
Saturday, August 5
Don dies at the hospital. The police search Erin Patterson’s house in Leongatha and confiscate various items.
Sunday, August 6
The police are seen returning to Erin’s house to question her. She is heard moaning loudly from inside the house before the four officers leave.
Monday, August 7
Victoria Police Detective Inspector for the Homicide Squad, Dean Thomas, confirms that Erin is being treated as a person of interest in the case.
However, he says the investigation is still in its early stages and whether the deaths are suspicious has yet to be determined.
A short time later, Erin breaks her silence and talks to reporters outside the house. She says that she is devastated and ‘loves’ the four relatives who came to her house. She denies any wrongdoing, but does not answer questions about where the mushrooms came from, who picked them, or what food she prepared for her guests.
Tuesday, August 8
In a bizarre twist, Simon Patterson was revealed to be suffering from a mysterious stomach illness in June 2022. He fell into a coma and was in ICU for 21 days. His case has not yet been explained by the doctors.
Forensic tests are underway to find any traces of the death hat fungus in a food dehydrator that was discovered in a landfill. Police believe it was used during food preparation.
Wednesday, August 9
Daily Mail Australia reveals Simon Patterson was expected to attend the lunch but pulled out at the last minute