DALLAS (WSVN) — A Texas woman is behind bars, accused of subjecting her healthy son to multiple invasive surgeries and hundreds of hospital visits.
According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Kaylene Bowen claimed her son Christopher suffered a rare genetic disorder and needed medical attention. She later claimed her son had cancer.
During his eight years of life, Christopher had been placed full-time on oxygen and at times used a wheelchair. He had also undergone 13 major surgeries and had been taken to multiple area hospitals 323 times.
Court documents show that Bowen had also tried to get Christopher on the lung transplant list and that he even spent time in hospice care. He was also fitted with a feeding tube that went directly into his small intestine, which led to multiple life-threatening blood infections, the Star-Telegram reports.
The paper reports that Bowen created multiple fundraisers to pay for the boy’s mounting medical bills, collecting thousands of dollars from friends, family and strangers through sites like GoFundMe and YouCaring.
However, doctors discovered that Christopher was not actually sick. Hospital staff said Bowen had claimed her son had suffered a seven-minute-long seizure, but an ECG showed that never actually happened. Workers alerted Child Protective Services after they discovered he didn’t have cancer or any of the other ailments his mother had claimed.
Bowen has since been arrested and Christopher and his two half-siblings have been placed in foster care, according to the Dallas Morning News.
According to Bowen’s arrest warrant affidavit, investigators believe Bowen began abusing her son when he was just 11 days old. Hospital staff said they saw Bowen pouring out milk that Christopher didn’t finish, then lying to nurses by telling them he’d had the whole bottle.
Investigators say Bowen lied to doctors about her son’s symptoms, pressuring them to perform tests, radiological exams, surgeries, and insert feeding tubes, ports, pic and central lines into Christopher, who then suffered three life-threatening blood infections.
Dallas police said the child was admitted to the hospital after his mother’s arrest, where doctors noted that he ate regularly, had no seizures and no need for a feeding tube, oxygen or an IV.
Christopher’s father Ryan Crawford said he tried alerting authorities to Bowen’s actions, but courts sided with Bowen and would not let him intervene.
“Every time I went to court, they made me feel like I was the worst human ever,” Crawford told the Star-Telegram. “It was always the same story: Christopher is dying. The father doesn’t need to be around because he doesn’t know how to take care of him.”
Crawford said he questioned the courts about Bowen’s claims about his son’s illnesses.
“How do you do 13 surgeries? How do you do it?” he told USA Today. “How do you do 13 surgeries and not question the fifth surgery? The sixth surgery?”
Crawford is currently working on getting custody of his son, who he says is now eating without a feeding tube and is doing much better.
Bowen faces charges of injury to a child with serious bodily harm, according to the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office.
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