Christopher Bowen is a healthy, athletic 10-year-old kid in Texas. That's quite a difference from the boy who racked up 13 major surgeries and more than 300 hospital and pediatric center visits by the age of 8, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. A remarkable recovery? Not quite. Authorities say he was never sick in the first place. His 35-year-old mother, Kaylene Bowen, has been charged with medical child abuse, or Munchausen syndrome by proxy. That is, prosecutors say she made up Bowen's various illnesses nearly from the day he was born. Details and coverage:
- Early start: Christopher's first hospital visit came at 11 days old, according to a longer, in-depth Star-Telegram story about the case. Over the years, his mother engineered invasive procedures and surgeries, even having him fitted with a feeding tube that connected to his small intestine and led to life-threatening infections, authorities say. He used a wheelchair at times, as well as oxygen masks, and Bowen claimed at various times that he had everything from rare genetic disorders to cancer to muscular dystrophy. She even allegedly placed him in hospice care.