A Dallas boy has underwent 13 surgeries and made 323 hospital visits in his 8 years of life because his mother fabricated illnesses.
34-year-old Kaylene Bowen took her son, Christopher, to the hospital for the umpteenth time last month when medical professionals noticed something was off. After realizing nothing was wrong with the boy, who also uses a wheelchair, doctors at the Children’s Medical Center in Dallas contacted Child Protective Services. She was later arrested.
“She was always saying Christopher was sick. Every single week. Every single month. She would always say, ‘Something’s wrong. He has this. He has that,’ ” his father Ryan Crawford told the Star-Telegram of Bowen.
But Christopher is in perfectly good health.
Throughout the young boy’s childhood, he’s been on a lung transplant list, connected to oxygen tanks and had a feeding tube inserted in him. Bowen even alleged her son had cancer on one of the GoFundMe accounts she created for his medical expenses.
A concerned Crawford tried to regain custody of his son but ultimately failed after Bowen alleged he simply didn’t want to face the “reality” that their son was dying.
Dr. Marc Feldman told WFAA that Bowen’s behavior can be attributed to mental disorder Munchhausen syndrome by proxy. WebMD characterizes the illness as a caregiver making up or causing “an illness or injury in a person under his or her care, such as a child, an elderly adult, or a person who has a disability.” Poor self-esteem, stress, anxiety or a need for attention are possible triggers of the illness.
“These mothers tend to be master deceivers and liars,” Feldman said. “They’re very skilled at what they do.”
Bowen is currently being held on a $150,000 bond and is being charged with injury to a child with serious bodily injury. A GoFundMe campaign has been created to help Crawford attain custody of his son.