Son of woman 'killed by poisonous mushroom lunch' reveals mom's haunting final text from hospital

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By Kim Novak

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The son of a woman who died after eating poisonous mushrooms cooked by a family member has revealed the haunting final text he received from her in the hospital before she died.

Erin Patterson, 49, had hosted a lunch for the parents and relatives of her estranged husband Simon on July 29, in the quiet town of Leongatha, Gippsland, in Australia.

However, things took a deadly turn after all four of her guests - her former in-laws Don and Gail Patterson, both 70, Gail's sister Heather Wilkinson, 66, and her 68-year-old husband Ian - fell ill after eating the Beef Wellington she had prepared, and needed hospital treatment.

Gail, Don, and Heather all tragically died after being suspected of having ingested death cap mushrooms. in the meal, while Ian is still fighting for his life in hospital, awaiting a liver transplant.

Erin has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing following their deaths and has not been charged by Victoria Police, however, they have said she still remains a suspect and any new information regarding the case will be made public as and when it emerges.

Speaking in front of 350 mourners at his parents' funeral, Erin's ex-husband Simon revealed what his mother Gail had text him in what was to be their final exchange after she was taken to hospital.

As she lay dying in hospital, Gail sent a message to the family WhatsApp group, telling them: "Lots of love to you all."

Simon, who was also invited to Erin's lunch but didn't attend, told funeralgoers: "It was no fluke that mum’s final text message on our family group chat as she lay in Dandenong hospital was: 'Lots of love to you all.'"

News.com.au reported that he told mourners that his parents had been a "team working at life together", adding: "The fact they died on consecutive days is fitting in some ways, as it reflects their togetherness as a couple that they always worked so hard to grow."

He added: "They acknowledged life’s transience and death’s reality as something that is not right about the world and very sad but also knew that death is not final.

"They would always wave goodbye when they parted ways. It was partly because one day would be the last wave."

Simon told mourners: "As mum and dad lay in comas in the hospital in their final days and each day… we were unsure if they would recover or not, it was comforting to know that when we said, 'See you later,' we knew it was true.

"The only thing we didn’t know was when. In the meantime, we’ll miss them."

Their service was attended by many residents of the 5,800-strong Korumbrra community, and was led by local reverend Dr Fran Grimes, who described the couple as "pillars of the community".

While the results of toxicology test are still pending to establish the cause of death, authorities had said the group's symptoms were consistent with death cap mushroom poisoning.

According to a statement given by Erin, the mushrooms in question were a combination of some button mushrooms bought from a supermarket and some dried mushrooms purchased from an Asian grocery store three months prior to the meal.

In a written statement sent to Victoria Police obtained by ABC News, Erin added: "I am now wanting to clear up the record because I have become extremely stressed and overwhelmed by the deaths of my loved ones.

"I am hoping this statement might help in some way. I believe if people understood the background more, they would not be so quick to rush to judgment.

"I am now devastated to think that these mushrooms may have contributed to the illness suffered by my loved ones. I really want to repeat that I had absolutely no reason to hurt these people whom I loved," she added.

She had earlier admitted that she had initially lied to police after they found a food dehydrator at a local tip, admitting that she hadn't told the truth when she said she had thrown it out "a long time ago".

Erin told police she had been discussing the food dehydrator with her children at the hospital when her estranged husband said: "Is that what you used to poison them?", leading her to throw it out.

She also spoke of her respect for Simon's family, adding: "I had a deep love and respect for Simon’s parents and had encouraged my children to spend time with their grandparents as I believed they were exceptional role models."

Poisoning symptoms after ingesting death cap mushrooms often begin with "violent" vomiting and diarrhea, as well as low blood pressure around eight to 12 hours after it enters the system, however, after around 24 hours a person may begin to feel better for up to 72 hours before symptoms of liver and kidney failure kick in around three to six days after the poison was ingested.

Death cap mushrooms, which grow around Victoria, can be extremely deadly and urgent medical attention must be sought if a person believes they may have come into contact with it.

Erin, who claims to be an "experienced forager," said she had also eaten a portion of the meal, and later found herself hospitalized with severe stomach pains and diarrhea, requiring treatment with a "liver protective drug."

Featured image credit: Getty Images

Son of woman 'killed by poisonous mushroom lunch' reveals mom's haunting final text from hospital

vt-author-image

By Kim Novak

Article saved!Article saved!

The son of a woman who died after eating poisonous mushrooms cooked by a family member has revealed the haunting final text he received from her in the hospital before she died.

Erin Patterson, 49, had hosted a lunch for the parents and relatives of her estranged husband Simon on July 29, in the quiet town of Leongatha, Gippsland, in Australia.

However, things took a deadly turn after all four of her guests - her former in-laws Don and Gail Patterson, both 70, Gail's sister Heather Wilkinson, 66, and her 68-year-old husband Ian - fell ill after eating the Beef Wellington she had prepared, and needed hospital treatment.

Gail, Don, and Heather all tragically died after being suspected of having ingested death cap mushrooms. in the meal, while Ian is still fighting for his life in hospital, awaiting a liver transplant.

Erin has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing following their deaths and has not been charged by Victoria Police, however, they have said she still remains a suspect and any new information regarding the case will be made public as and when it emerges.

Speaking in front of 350 mourners at his parents' funeral, Erin's ex-husband Simon revealed what his mother Gail had text him in what was to be their final exchange after she was taken to hospital.

As she lay dying in hospital, Gail sent a message to the family WhatsApp group, telling them: "Lots of love to you all."

Simon, who was also invited to Erin's lunch but didn't attend, told funeralgoers: "It was no fluke that mum’s final text message on our family group chat as she lay in Dandenong hospital was: 'Lots of love to you all.'"

News.com.au reported that he told mourners that his parents had been a "team working at life together", adding: "The fact they died on consecutive days is fitting in some ways, as it reflects their togetherness as a couple that they always worked so hard to grow."

He added: "They acknowledged life’s transience and death’s reality as something that is not right about the world and very sad but also knew that death is not final.

"They would always wave goodbye when they parted ways. It was partly because one day would be the last wave."

Simon told mourners: "As mum and dad lay in comas in the hospital in their final days and each day… we were unsure if they would recover or not, it was comforting to know that when we said, 'See you later,' we knew it was true.

"The only thing we didn’t know was when. In the meantime, we’ll miss them."

Their service was attended by many residents of the 5,800-strong Korumbrra community, and was led by local reverend Dr Fran Grimes, who described the couple as "pillars of the community".

While the results of toxicology test are still pending to establish the cause of death, authorities had said the group's symptoms were consistent with death cap mushroom poisoning.

According to a statement given by Erin, the mushrooms in question were a combination of some button mushrooms bought from a supermarket and some dried mushrooms purchased from an Asian grocery store three months prior to the meal.

In a written statement sent to Victoria Police obtained by ABC News, Erin added: "I am now wanting to clear up the record because I have become extremely stressed and overwhelmed by the deaths of my loved ones.

"I am hoping this statement might help in some way. I believe if people understood the background more, they would not be so quick to rush to judgment.

"I am now devastated to think that these mushrooms may have contributed to the illness suffered by my loved ones. I really want to repeat that I had absolutely no reason to hurt these people whom I loved," she added.

She had earlier admitted that she had initially lied to police after they found a food dehydrator at a local tip, admitting that she hadn't told the truth when she said she had thrown it out "a long time ago".

Erin told police she had been discussing the food dehydrator with her children at the hospital when her estranged husband said: "Is that what you used to poison them?", leading her to throw it out.

She also spoke of her respect for Simon's family, adding: "I had a deep love and respect for Simon’s parents and had encouraged my children to spend time with their grandparents as I believed they were exceptional role models."

Poisoning symptoms after ingesting death cap mushrooms often begin with "violent" vomiting and diarrhea, as well as low blood pressure around eight to 12 hours after it enters the system, however, after around 24 hours a person may begin to feel better for up to 72 hours before symptoms of liver and kidney failure kick in around three to six days after the poison was ingested.

Death cap mushrooms, which grow around Victoria, can be extremely deadly and urgent medical attention must be sought if a person believes they may have come into contact with it.

Erin, who claims to be an "experienced forager," said she had also eaten a portion of the meal, and later found herself hospitalized with severe stomach pains and diarrhea, requiring treatment with a "liver protective drug."

Featured image credit: Getty Images