Ex of Erin Patterson who hosted deadly mushroom lunch that killed his parents 'nearly died of mystery illness last year' | The Sun
THE ex-husband of a woman who cooked a deadly mushroom lunch said he "almost died" from a mystery stomach illness last year.
Erin Patterson invited Gail and Don Patterson, her former in-laws, and Gail's sister Heather Wilkinson and her husband Ian to her home in Leongatha, Australia.
After eating the meal – which allegedly included poisonous mushrooms – the guests became violently ill and Gail, 70, Heather, 66, and Don, 70, later died.
Ian, a pastor, remains in hospital in a critical condition.
Erin's ex Simon Patterson – the son of Don and Gail – has now revealed that he almost died in May last year from a mystery illness.
He said he collapsed at home and was placed into an induced coma.
In a social media post, Simon wrote: "I collapsed at home, then was in an induced coma for 16 days through which I had three emergency operations mainly on my small intestine, plus an additional planned operation.
"My family were asked to come and say goodbye to me twice, as I was not expected to live.
"I was in intensive care for 21 days…"
It’s believed Simon coached U16 boys basketball at Poowong.
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In the post, he thanked his wife, Erin, and their two children for their support.
Homicide detectives said Erin is a person of interest since she cooked the meal and did not have symptoms of poisoning.
Investigators are still unsure whether she also ate the meal – but cops confirmed a different lunch was served to her two children.
Officers have seized a number of items, including a food dehydrator believed to have been used to prepare the mushrooms.
A police source told The Age that cops are conducting forensic tests on the dehydrator – which was found at a nearby tip.
Victoria Police Detective Inspector Dean Thomas said: "She hasn't presented with any symptoms but we have to keep an open mind in relation to this, that it could be very innocent but again we just don't know at this point."
She allegedly did not answer questions about where the mushrooms came from or what meal she made for the guests.
"We will be working closely with medical experts, toxicologists… in the hope we can understand exactly what has gone on and provide some answers to the family," Thomas added.
"We're trying to understand who ate what at the lunch, whether that person that did not become ill did or did not eat the mushrooms…
"And of course, we're trying to ascertain what it is that has actually caused the poisoning to the four people that attended."
Erin has denied any wrongdoing and no charges are expected.
She broke down in front of cameras outside her home on Monday and claimed she didn't do anything as cops investigate.
When asked where the mushrooms came from, who picked them or what meal she made for her guests, Erin didn't answer.
She said: "I loved them and I'm devastated that they're gone.
"Gail was like the mum I didn't have because my mum passed away four years ago and Gail had never been anything but good and kind to me.
"Ian and Heather were some of the best people I'd ever met. They never did anything wrong to me."
She was later seen loading a suitcase into the boot of her car and leaving the property.
Locals have been left stunned as news of the deaths emerged.
Nathan Hersey, the mayor of South Gippsland, described the situation as "shocking".
Fran Grimes, who works closely with Wilkinson, the minister, told The Age: "I think it’s devastating. Dark things happen in this world."
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All four victims suffered symptoms consistent with eating death cap mushrooms – including nausea and stomach pain.
Just half of a death cap mushroom is sufficient to kill an adult.
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