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Man Explains How He Survived After Eating Deadly Mushrooms That Killed 3 Others

He was “preparing for the end.”

In late July, Erin Patterson, 48, hosted a gathering at her palatial country house in Leongatha, about 70 miles from Melbourne. She invited her parents-in-law, Gail and Don Patterson, both 70, Heather Wilkinson, 66, and her husband Ian Wilkinson, 68, a local pastor, over for lunch. Later that night, all four guests became seriously ill, believing it to be food poisoning. Within a week, Gail, Don, and Heather were dead, while one underwent surgery. Investigators suspect the victims consumed death cap, or Amanita phalloides, as their symptoms correspond with the mushroom poisoning, and they suspect Patterson intentionally poisoned them. This week, a man who survived eating the toxic fungus 23 years ago opened up and revealed his secret. 

Simon Claringbold Was Poisoned By the Mushrooms 25 Years Ago


Simon Claringbold, from Canberra, Australia, claims that he ate the poisonous mushrooms a century ago and felt like he was "preparing for the end." His symptoms included vomiting and diarrhea, so he went to the doctor. 

He Went to the Hospital

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"He took one look at me and raced me to Canberra Hospital. And my wife gave me a part of the mushroom in a paper bag," Claringbold told ABC 7.30, according to Sky News.

He Went Into the Acute Liver Ward

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"The liver specialist there looked at the mushrooms and said, 'Oh yeah, that's a death cap mushroom,'" he continued. "And they basically got me in an air ambulance, airlifted me to Royal Prince Alfred in Sydney, and I went into the acute liver ward."

Things Got Worse After the Seventh Day


He claims that his symptoms worsened after the first week. "Seven days into it was probably the worst," he recalled. "That's when I started to black out, just see the tunnel vision and lights. I was lying down and was just barely conscious. I was preparing for the end, I really thought it was the end. The lights were starting to go out."

He Spent 11 Days at the Hospital


He spent 11 days at the hospital, finally being released unscathed. Unfortunately, the three people who dined on Patterson's lunch weren't quite as fortunate. 

Patterson Denies Using the Mushrooms

Patterson told reporters she'd made the meal for "the best people I've ever met" and was devastated by their deaths. "I just can't fathom what has happened." She didn't discuss what she cooked for lunch or whether she had eaten the meal, but according to police, her kids were given something different. 

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She Is "Devastated" She Says

"I can't believe that this has happened and I am so sorry that they have lost their lives," a tearful Patterson told reporters. "I didn't do anything, I loved them, and I'm devastated that they're gone."

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