A father in Texas is fighting to get custody of his eight-year-old son after the boy’s mother faked years of illnesses in a plot that lead to numerous unneeded medical operations.
Dallas mother Kaylene Bowen, 34, was arrested for felony injury to a child after she admitted to convincing doctors that her son, Christopher, was severely ill.
Since he was born, she’s taken the now eight-year-old child to the hospital at least 323 times. He’s also underwent 13 major surgeries since birth after she lied to doctors saying he had a severe milk allergy and needed a lung transplant due to the severe side effects.
The boy’s father, Ryan Crawford, said that Bowen’s arrest was a long time coming and that he hopes she goes to prison for life for what she’s done.
He said that he is upset it took so many years for the system to finally figure out that she was lying about their son’s illnesses.
‘How do you do 13 surgeries? How do you do it?’ he asked while speaking to KHOU. ‘How do you do 13 surgeries and not question the fifth surgery? The sixth surgery?’
Crawford explained after his son was born, he questioned the medical issues she was claiming he was suffering from.
He said the more he questioned Bowen, the less she was willing to let him see his son.
Crawford said that he tried to explain to Lori Hockett, a family court district judge in 2012, that his son was not sick, but she reportedly believed his ex and stripped him of his visitation rights because he refused to accept that his son was dying.
‘Every single [time] she went into [the] courtroom, she would say Christopher is dying,’ Crawford said.
‘The judge stated that I needed to accept that my son was dying and I said, ‘No, I’m not going to accept that my son was dying’ and she took away from my visitation.”
Then, two years later she hired an attorney to get full custody of their son.
He said he obtained medical records showing he was not sick, but claims the judge refused to even look at the records and dismissed his motion.
‘It makes me feel as if the system wants to believe the mother all the time in situations, when the father is there fighting,’ Crawford said.
Hockett, who is not currently a judge, told the Star-Telegram that she could not comment on Crawford’s allegations.
Crawford said that despite everything, he still continued to pay $600 a month in child support.
He also said he complained to Child Protective Services twice, but a spokeswoman for the agency said they have no record of the complaints.
Since her arrest, the boy along with his two other siblings have been put in foster care.
Crawford has seen him twice and is fighting to get custody.
‘He looked as if nothing had ever happened to him,’ he said. ‘He’s a blessing. God has watched over him.’
His coworkers have created a GoFundMe to help him in the difficult process ahead.
‘Out of everything that has happened, the worst thing you can do is put my children in foster care with strangers,’ he said. ‘I need my son in my life and my son needs me in [his] life.’
According to her Facebook page, Bowen publicly broadcasted her son’s ‘terminal cancer’ and started crowdfunding pages to aid in the his medical treatments and operations.
She continually concocted the stories to doctors – who became suspicious two years ago, and contacted CPS. Both doctors confirmed Christopher was not actually sick.
Bowen apparently told doctors during visits that her son would violently ‘throw up’ every time he drank milk, Crawford told NBC Dallas Fort-Worth.
‘She started explaining to the judge that the doctors stated my son would never walk,’ Crawford said.
‘And then she stated that he had problems continuing to eat and that he’s going to need a feeding tube.’
The now-separated couple started dating in 2009 when they met while at a club.
‘I was at a club and she seemed like a nice woman. She was pleasant, pretty. She just caught my eye,’ he said of Bowen.
Now, Crawford said he is worried that, rather than his son, Bowen may actually be the one with the medical condition.
He’s convinced she suffers from a condition called Munchhausen by Proxy, or MSBP.
MSBP is a ‘mental health problem in which a caregiver makes up or causes an illness or injury in a person under his or her care’ which is often times a child, according to WebMD.
The behavior may stem from ‘poor self-esteem, stress, anxiety’or a need for attention, the medical website said.
Of her extreme behavior, Crawford said it began eight days after their son was born.
‘The issues escalated to eventually she claimed that my son was dying,’ Crawford said.
‘I was horrified because from what I knew, my son was fine. He just needed — not even extra care — he was fine.’
A crying Crawford said he feels partially to blame for not putting a stop to the visits years ago.
‘Just so many surgeries that are just unbelievable,’ Crawford shared.