Child Underwent 13 Surgeries. Cops Say They Weren't Needed

Mother suspected of having Munchausen syndrome by proxy arrested
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2017 2:48 PM CST
Child Underwent 13 Surgeries. Cops Say They Weren't Needed
Police say Kaylene Bowen hospitalized her son hundreds of time sdespite there being nothing wrong with him.   (Dallas County Sheriff's Office)

By the time he was 7 years old, Christopher had been seen at Texas hospitals and pediatric centers 323 times and underwent 13 major surgeries, the Forth Worth Star-Telegram reports. He was put on full-time oxygen, confined to a wheelchair, fitted with a feeding tube, and entered into hospice care. Christopher's mom, 34-year-old Kaylene Bowen, said he had a rare genetic disorder and cancer and needed a lung transplant. Now Bowen is in jail and doctors can't find anything wrong with Christopher, according to NBC DFW. Bowen was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of injury to a child, and Christopher's father, Ryan Crawford, says he believes Bowen has Munchausen syndrome by proxy, wherein a person seeks attention by faking medical conditions in others.

Crawford says the behavior started before Christopher was even born—with Bowen claiming multiple hospitalizations during her pregnancy—and wants to know why it took so long for authorities to step in. “How do you do 13 surgeries and not question the fifth surgery? The sixth surgery?” Crawford asks WFAA. Crawford says he went to family court multiple times to convince them there was nothing wrong with Christopher. In response, he was blocked from visiting his son and told he was in denial about his son's impending death. CPS finally took Christopher away from Bowen last month after doctors could find no evidence to support her claim the 8-year-old had a seizure. Police say Christopher has suffered three life-threatening blood infections due to Bowen's actions over the years. Christopher is in foster care, and Crawford is seeking custody. (More Munchausen syndrome by proxy stories.)

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