The ex-husband of the woman who served up a deadly lunch to his family members put a call out to the local community after nearly dying from a mystery illness last year.
Simon Patterson is mourning the death of both his parents, Gail and Don Patterson, after they ate a meal on July 29 that police believe may have contained death cap mushrooms.
Their deaths came after they were reportedly served a beef wellington pie by 48-year-old Erin Patterson, Simon’s ex-wife, at her home in Leongatha, two hours’ southeast of Melbourne.
Gail’s sister Heather Wilkinson also died following the meal, with her husband Ian gravely ill and needing a liver transplant.
Neither Ms Patterson nor her two children that she shares with Simon became ill after the lunch.
Police are investigating the deaths, with Ms Patterson denying any wrongdoing and authorities cautioning that the incident could be “very innocent”.
This comes amid revelations that the father-of-two had to be placed in an induced coma after coming down with a mystery illness in late May, 2022.
His family were told to say their goodbyes to him on two separate occasions but, thankfully, Simon made a recovery.
News.com.au has unearthed comments made by Simon that indicate he was still recovering from his time in hospital more than a month after he became ill.
He put a call out in the local community Facebook group on July 7 asking for recommendations for a physiotherapist in the area.
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“I’m needing some strengthening rehab after a stint in hospital, and looking for a good physio to work with regularly,” he wrote.
In response to one person saying, “Thank God you’re OK Simon”, the local photographer said he was “doing great” but still needed to regain strength in his arms.
Simon revealed further details about his illness in a post to his local basketball group at the end of June, 2022.
“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,” he wrote.
“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, after which I was in the general ward for a week, and now I’m at a rehab place since last Saturday.”
Simon said the “serious gut problems” had seemed to be fixed but had an “ICU acquired weakness” due to lying in intensive care for so long.
“I can walk and do all the normal daily functions myself, however my left shoulder in particular is very weak,” he wrote.
“I’m expected to make a full recovery so I’m back to the same capacity I had before I collapsed.”
In the social media post he mentioned Ms Patterson and his children were on their way to visit him.
Reason for deadly lunch as investigations continue
New information has revealed the reason Ms Patterson invited her ex-husband’s family to lunch was in an effort to try and negotiate a reconciliation with the father of her children, according to the Daily Mail.
“They went to her house for a mediation to talk to the family. Simon was supposed to go there for lunch but he pulled out in the last minute otherwise he would be in that death bed too,” a close friend told the publication, adding that Simon was not interested in getting back with his ex.
The friend claimed that Simon’s family was worried about Ms Patterson’s “mental state” so they accepted the lunch invitation to “make sure she was in the right mental health to resume a relationship with Simon”.
“This wasn’t just a lunch, it was an intervention with the pastor as mediator. That’s why this lunch happened,” the friend said.
A dehydrator found dumped at a local tip is being forensically analysed as part of police investigations to see whether it is related to the tragic deaths.
Ms Patterson’s home was searched over the weekend and she was interviewed by police.
According to 7News, she initially told police during her interview that she picked up the mushrooms from a local shop in the Leongatha area.
She has maintained her innocence, previously saying that she “loved” her in-laws with Gail being like a mother to her.