Mushroom poisoning: Ian Wilkinson released from hospital after Leongatha lunch
Ian 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.
The 68-year-old’s family confirmed on Saturday he was now making ‘significant progress’ at home after being discharged from the Austin Hospital in Melbourne.
‘This milestone marks a moment of immense relief and gratitude for Ian and the entire Wilkinson family,’ they said.
‘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 also thanked the local community including members of the church and other loved ones.
‘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.
Pastor Wilkinson was the only person to survive the poisonous beef wellington dished up on July 29 by stay-at-home mum Erin Patterson in Leongatha, Victoria.
Mr Wilkinson, his wife Heather, 66, and her sister Gail and husband Don Patterson had been invited over for lunch as part of a ‘mediation’ gathering to discuss Ms Patterson’s relationship with her estranged husband Simon, who pulled out at the last minute.
Ian Wilkinson and Heather Wilkinson (both pictured). Ian 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
The above family tree shows the connections between the Pattersons and Wilkinsons embroiled in the unusual poisoning tragedy in Leongatha
The Pattersons, both aged 70, and Ms Wilkinson died days later.
Daily Mail Australia revealed last month Mr Wilkinson only likely survived because he was rushed to a hospital known for its expertise in treating patients suffering from poisonings.
A hospital insider told Daily Mail Australia said that Mr Wilkinson had been transported to the Austin Hospital – recognised as the go-to hospital for Victoria’s most critically ill patients – for one specific reason that likely saved his life.
‘The Austin was not the natural hospital to go to. From Leongatha the closest hospital is Monash Medical Centre – that’s where they normally go. They’ve basically gone to the hospital the farthest away they could,’ the source said.
Erin Patterson is pictured outside her home days after serving the killer meal
Erin’s former in-laws Don and Gail Patterson (pictured) died a week after attending the lunch
‘The main intensive care unit, and you need the best, you go to The Alfred or Royal Melbourne. They haven’t done that either. The state’s poison centre is at the Austin, so that’s why he’s gone there.
‘That says they’re more interested in dealing with the mushrooms than the intensive care part of it.’
Erin Patterson had earlier told police that the mushrooms used in the lunch were a mixture of button mushrooms bought from a supermarket and dried mushrooms bought from an Asian supermarket in Melbourne months earlier.
The homicide squad is investigating the incident.
Erin has denied any wrongdoing and Daily Mail Australia is not suggesting she intentionally poisoned her four relatives.
MUSHROOM POISONING: A TIMELINE OF EVENTS
Saturday, July 29
Don and Gail Patterson and Heather and Ian Wilkinson (a pastor) gather at Erin Patterson’s home in Leongatha, north-east of Melbourne, for lunch and east her beef wellington
Erin’s two children go to the movies
Sunday, July 30
Erin’s children eat leftover beef wellington but with the mushrooms scraped off.
All four lunch guests present to hospital feeling ill. It is initially thought they have gastro.
As their condition deteriorates, they are transferred to hospitals in Melbourne.
Erin also goes to 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 find Erin’s food dehydrator dumped at a tip
Saturday, August 5
Don dies in hospital. Police search Erin Patterson’s home in Leongatha and seize a number of items.
Sunday, August 6
Police are seen returning to Erin’s home to question her. She is heard wailing loudly from inside the house before the four 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 still in its early stages and it is yet to be determined if the deaths are suspicious.
A short time later, Erin breaks her silence and speaks to reporters outside the home. She says she is devastated and ‘loves’ the four relatives who came to her home. She denies any wrongdoing but does not answer questions where the mushrooms came from, who picked them or what meal she made for her guests.
Tuesday, August 8
In a bizarre twist, Simon Patterson was revealed to have suffered from a mysterious Stomach illness in June, 2022. He fell into a coma and was in ICU for 21 days. His case is yet to be explained by doctors.
Forensic testing is underway to find any traces of death cap mushroom on the food dehydrator. Police believe it was used during preparation of the meal.
Wednesday, August 9
Daily Mail Australia reveals that Simon Patterson was expected to attend the lunch, but pulled out at the last minute
Thursday, August 10
Erin Patterson tells reporters she is driving to Melbourne to see her lawyers. A representative from the legal firm later arrives at her house to hand deliver a letter, but she is not home.
Friday August 11: Erin Patterson provides a lengthy written statement to police