The only surviving victim of Australia’s suspected mushroom poisoning has been seen in public for the first time to attend his wife’s memorial service.
Don and Gail Patterson along with Gail’s sister, Heather Wilkinson, died after eating a beef wellington at the home of Erin Patterson in Leongatha, Victoria, on July 29.
The dish is thought to have contained death cap mushrooms and is now at the centre of a homicide investigation.
Heather’s husband, Ian Wilkinson, was left in a critical but stable condition following the lunch until he was discharged from hospital in late September.
The 68-year-old pastor was seen for the first time on Wednesday, arriving at the Korumburra Indoor Recreation Centre for his wife’s memorial.
Footage from the tragic event shows Mr Wilkinson wearing a face mask and using a walking frame for support as he made his way into the centre.
Gail and Don’s son Simon, who is the ex-partner of Erin Patterson, also attended his aunt’s service.
Ian and Heather’s son David gave a eulogy, saying his parents met while working together at an ice cream shop and had been married for 44 years.
“They were inseparable partners in life and faith and their relationship flourished,” he said.
“Mum was a great encourager and always reassured you if you were worried about something. She was humble and didn’t want to be put on a pedestal.
“Maybe Dad summed up her character best when he reflected recently – she was special, not because she was better than anyone else but because of her faith. She had the beauty of holiness. It didn’t matter who you were or what your titles were, you were treated the same by her.”
Toxicologists believe the symptoms the four diners experienced were consistent with being poisoned by death cap mushrooms.
Erin Patterson denies allegations she laced the dish and police have not charged her.
The investigation continues.
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