Mushroom poisoning, Leongatha: Sole survivor Ian Wilkinson continues to make progress after ‘miracle’ recovery – as friend shares a haunting message: ‘The truth will come out’

The sole survivor of the deadly mushroom lunch is making good progress with his recovery at home, while a friend has called for the ‘truth to come out’ about the mysterious meal. 

Pastor Ian Wilkinson, 68, narrowly avoided death after eating a poisonous beef wellington dish cooked by stay-at-home mum Erin Patterson in Leongatha, in Victoria’s east, on July 29.

His wife Heather, 66, his sister Gail and her 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. 

Around 30 parishioners prayed for Mr Wilkinson’s continued recovery in South Gippsland church on Sunday. 

Pastor Ian Wilkinson (pictured, right), 68, narrowly avoided death after eating a poisonous beef wellington dish cooked by stay-at-home mum Erin Patterson in Leongatha, in Victoria’s east, on July 29. A memorial for his wife Heather (left), 66, will be held on Wednesday 

Erin Patterson is pictured outside her home days after serving the deadly meal

‘He’s doing OK, that’s all we really know at the moment,’ a churchgoer told the Herald Sun.

‘He’s certainly improving.’

Last week, church attendee Trevor Shaw told the publication the town longed for the ‘truth’ to be revealed.

‘All of them have been praying earnestly for Ian’s recovery and that the truth will come out,’ he said.

‘That’s the main thing. That the truth will come out, and then we’ll all be able to, in a sense, relax because then there’ll be some closure.’

It comes as members of the tight-knit Korumburra Baptist Church will remember his wife, Mrs Wilkinson, at a public memorial on Wednesday.

The memorial is expected to be similar to that held for the Pattersons on August 31 when more than 450 mourners gathered at the Korumburra Recreation Centre to pay their respects to the beloved couple.

Erin’s former in-laws Don and Gail Patterson (pictured) died a week after attending the lunch

Simon Patterson paid tribute to his parents at a public memorial last month 

Mr Wilkinson has not been spotted in public since his release from the Austin Hospital and it remains unknown if he has yet spoken to homicide detectives. 

In a tribute published online, family said Ms Wilkinson’s life was ‘well lived’.

‘Beloved wife, daughter, sister, mum, favourite mother-in-law, grandma, and friend to many,’ it read.

‘Hers was a life well lived, and we love her. Dearly missed until we meet again. At home with her Lord Jesus.’ 

Last week, Daily Mail Australia revealed that Mr Patterson had security cameras installed in his house just days after his release from hospital. 

Victoria Police has declined to comment on claims by veteran crime reporter John Silvester that forensic tests have led police to conclude the mushrooms in the infamous meal were responsible for the trio’s deaths. 

‘The investigation remains ongoing,’ a Victoria Police spokesperson said. 

Erin Patterson has denied any wrongdoing, and Daily Mail Australia is not suggesting that 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

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 which is leaked to the media.

Wednesday September 27 

It is revealed forensic tests confirmed the four were the victims of mushroom poisoning. 

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