The survivor of a poisonous mushroom lunch that left three people dead has been released from hospital in what has been described by his church as a “miracle”.
Ian Wilkinson, 68, a local pastor, survived poisoned beef Wellington prepared by housewife Erin Patterson in Leongatha, Victoria, on July 29.
He, his wife Heather, 66, his sister Gail and her husband Don Patterson were invited to lunch as part of a “mediation”. meeting to discuss Ms Patterson’s relationship with her ex-husband Simon, who pulled out at the last minute.
The Pattersons, both aged 70, and Mrs Wilkinson died a few days later.
Mr Wilkinson spent almost two months in hospital fighting for his life before being released from Austin Hospital in Melbourne, it was revealed on Saturday.
Korumburra Baptist Church, where Mr Wilkinson preaches, delivered the good news to about 40 worshipers at a service on Sunday.
Ian Wilkinson (pictured right with his wife Heather Wilkinson) has been released from hospital after spending weeks recovering from a poisonous mushroom lunch that claimed the lives of three others, including his wife.
His recovery was described at the service as a “miracle in itself”.
The faithful were asked to keep Mr Wilkinson in their thoughts and prayers as he continued his recovery.
Trevor Shaw said Herald Sun he was happy that Mr Wilkinson had made progress.
“It was a great joy for us, as a comrade and for those who loved him, that he was back home,” he said.
“Everyone in this community and even the outskirts prayed earnestly on their knees for his recovery.
“And those prayers have been answered, he’s home.” It’s still a work in progress, but what a wonderful thing.
Mr Shaw said the community hoped to find closure soon while awaiting the results of the police investigation.
He acknowledged it would be a difficult time for Mr Wilkinson after the loss of his wife.
A family statement was released confirming Mr Wilkinson had been released from hospital.
“The Wilkinson family would like to express their sincere thanks to Leongatha, Dandenong and Austin Hospitals for their unwavering dedication and exceptional care which played a pivotal role in Ian’s recovery,” it read.
“The expertise and compassion of the medical team has been a source of comfort and hope throughout this journey.
“The family also thanked the local community, including church members and other relatives.”
Erin Patterson (pictured) cooked a beef Wellington lunch at her home which led to the deaths of three people. She denied any wrongdoing
The family tree above shows the connections between the Pattersons and the Wilkinsons involved in the unusual tragedy of the Leongatha poisoning.
The family also thanked the local community, including church members and other relatives.
“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,” they said.
Daily Mail Australia revealed last month that Mr Wilkinson likely only survived because he was rushed to a hospital known for expertise in treating patients suffering from poisoning.
A hospital insider told Daily Mail Australia that Mr Wilkinson was taken to Austin Hospital – recognized as the referral hospital for Victoria’s most seriously ill patients – for a specific reason that he probably saved his life.
“The Austin was not the natural hospital to go to. From Leongatha the nearest hospital is Monash Medical Center – that’s where they usually go. They basically went to the hospital as far away as possible,” the source said. “The main intensive care unit, and you need the best, you go to the Alfred or the Royal Melbourne. They didn’t either. The state poison control center is in Austin, that’s why he went there.
“That means they are more interested in mushrooms than intensive care.”
Erin Patterson had earlier told police the mushrooms used in the lunch were a mixture of button mushrooms purchased from a supermarket and dried mushrooms purchased from an Asian supermarket in Melbourne a few months earlier.
The homicide squad is investigating the incident.
Ms Patterson has denied any wrongdoing and Daily Mail Australia is not suggesting she intentionally poisoned her four relatives.
MUSHROOM POISONING: TIMELINE OF EVENTS
Saturday July 29
Don and Gail Patterson and Heather and Ian Wilkinson (a pastor) meet at Erin Patterson’s house in Leongatha, north-east of Melbourne, for lunch and east of her beef Wellington.
Erin’s two children go to the movies
Sunday July 30
Erin’s children eat the leftover beef Wellington but with the mushrooms scraped off.
The four lunch guests show up at the hospital feeling sick. At first we think they have gastro.
As their condition deteriorated, they were transferred to hospitals in Melbourne.
Erin also goes to the hospital.
Monday July 31
Erin is transferred to a hospital in Melbourne, where she is treated for poisoning.
Friday August 4
Gail and Heather die in hospital.
Police discover Erin’s food dehydrator abandoned in landfill
Saturday August 5
Don dies in hospital. Police searched Erin Patterson’s home in Leongatha and seized a number of items.
Sunday August 6
The police are seen returning to Erin’s home to question her. She can be heard crying loudly from inside the house before the four police officers leave.
Monday August 7
Victoria Police Detective Inspector for the Homicide Squad Dean Thomas confirms Erin is being treated as a person of interest in the case.
However, he says the investigation is in its early stages and it has yet to be determined whether the deaths are suspicious.
Shortly after, Erin breaks her silence and speaks to reporters outside the house. She says she is devastated and “loves” the four members of her family 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 meal she prepared for her guests.
Tuesday August 8
Forensic tests are underway to find traces of the deadly fungus on the food dehydrator. Police believe it was used during the preparation of the meal.
Wednesday August 9
Daily Mail Australia reveals Simon Patterson was due to attend the lunch but pulled out at the last minute
Thursday August 10
Erin Patterson told reporters she was traveling to Melbourne to see her lawyers. A representative from the law firm later arrives at her house to hand-deliver a letter, but she is not home.
Friday August 11: Erin Patterson provides lengthy written statement to police