Almost three months after pastor Ian Wilkinson attended a fatal lunch containing what police suspect was death cap mushrooms, the 68-year-old has been released from hospital.
Mr Wilkinson and his wife Heather joined host Erin Patterson and Erin’s former in-laws Don and Gail Patterson for lunch on July 29.
The group ate beef wellington but the dish is believed to have contained the deadly death cap mushroom.
Erin Patterson did not eat the meal and Don, Gail and Heather all died within days of the fatal lunch.
Mr Wilkinson was admitted to Melbourne’s Austin Hospital but on Saturday a statement declared he had been released.
“This milestone marks a moment of immense relief and gratitude for Ian and the entire Wilkinson family,” they said in a statement.
“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.”
Ms Patterson has strenuously denied intentionally poisoning her lunch guests and has not been charged by police.
She says she purchased the mushrooms from an Asian grocery store in Melbourne but told police she could not recall the exact location.
A food dehydrator Ms Patterson had used was dumped a local tip.
A toxicologist last month revealed that those who were poisoned would have suffered in agony before, in a cruel twist, they would have felt much better moments before they died.
Forensic toxicologist Dr Michael Robertson told Channel 9’s Under Investigation that victims of death cap mushroom poisoning can suffer from an unbearable illness before starting to feel better.
But the feeling of relief doesn‘t last long, as the person’s body shuts down completely a short time later.
Robertson said they will usually begin to feel unwell several hours after consuming the lethal mushrooms – with “violent” vomiting and diarrhoea generally the first signs of poisoning.
However, in a cruel twist, they will actually soon begin to feel better leading them to believe that the worst is over.
But even though the toxins are leaving the body in this process, it continues to slowly shut down.
He said: “It’s one of those toxins that gets into your system.
“It gets absorbed into the bloodstream, it then gets transported to the liver and absorbed. The body doesn‘t break this toxin down.
“We’ve got to get rid of it usually in the urine but also in the bile, and the bile duct drops bile back into the intestines.