Mother Accused Of Sending Healthy Son To 323 Hospital Visits, 13 Surgeries
How far do you think a mother go if she thinks her child is sick? We’ve heard of overprotective moms, but what about moms who may be delusional about their children? That’s what the court will find out in the case of the mother of eight-year-old Christopher Bowen of Dallas. He has reportedly been hospitalized more than 300 times and undergone 13 major surgeries, but doctors say he’s not sick–at all.
According to Huffington Post, In 2014, when Christopher was 5, his mother, Kaylene Bowen-Wright, was telling everybody including the boy’s father, Ryan Crawford, that Christopher had a rare life-threatening condition that affected his oxygen supply and suffered a rare genetic disorder and, later, cancer. She said he’d been diagnosed at age 2.
“Christopher has trouble breathing so basically, his lungs ― and body ― doesn’t get the oxygen it needs, so he gets tired,” she told WFAA-TV. “He can’t play as long as the normal kids.” The interview was conducted during a bike rally intended to raise $30,000 for Christopher’s care.
“We don’t know how long Christopher will live,” Bowen-Wright claimed.
But doctors have since determined that Christopher does not have cancer or many of the other ailments Bowen-Wright has claimed. He does not need a lung transplant or hospice care, they concluded.
Crawford is fighting for custody.
In 2015, a friend of Bowen-Wright’s used GoFundMe to raise $610 so Christopher could go to the beach. According to the fundraiser page, Christopher had been diagnosed with cancer and had just six months to live.
“I want him to build sand castles, walk on the beach and let the waves hit him as he plays with his family,” the organizer wrote.
Later, when Christopher was a kindergartner at White Rock Elementary School in Lake Highlands, a YouCaring campaign was organized by a group of friends and supporters. By the time it ended, the campaign had raised roughly $8,000 “to help young Christopher and his family as they struggle against a disease that is slowly ending his life.”
While Bowen-Wright was allegedly carting her son, his oxygen tank and his wheelchair from doctor to doctor, Ryan Crawford, the boy’s father, was busy trying to convince Dallas County family court judges that Christopher was not actually sick, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Crawford claims that until recently, he had not been permitted to see his son since 2012.
“It was always the same story: ‘Christopher is dying. The father doesn’t need to be around because he doesn’t know to take care of him,’” Bowen-Wright would tell the judges, according to Crawford. “Every time I went to court, they made me feel like I was the worst human ever.”
Investigators think the case is one of Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a mental disorder in which a caregiver makes up an illness or injury to get medical care.
“This is a case in which a young boy nearly died needlessly more than one time,” prosecutor Jennifer Sawyer told the judge.
Detective Kimberly Mayfield, a child abuse investigator, told the judge that medical records indicate the abuse started when Christopher was just 11 days old. She says the records indicate that Bowen-Wright and her mother were confronted after they were seen pouring out his milk bottle.