Mum Accused Of Medically Abusing Son Pleads Guilty
Kaylene Bowen, 35, pleaded guilty on Thursday to causing injury to her son - who is now 10 years old - having sent him to unneeded doctors' appointments since he was just 11 days old.
During that time, her son's care included more than 320 hospital and doctors' visits.
Authorities said Bowen appeared to show traits of Munchhausen syndrome by proxy - a physiological condition whereby caregivers (usually a mother) lie, exaggerate or completely invent medical symptoms of a child as a means of gaining attention.
As doctors often have to rely on parents' description for any potential medical issues a child has, in turn performing unnecessary and sometimes painful tests, procedures and even surgeries.
Bowen allegedly had her son fitted with a feeding tube that fed directly into his small intestine, and led to multiple life-threatening blood infections.
Authorities also said she tried to get Christopher on the lung transplant list and had him in hospice care.
According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Bowen has even started or been the subject of fundraisers - making false claims that Christopher was dying. Initially she claimed he had a rare genetic disorder, before saying he had terminal cancer.
Bowen eventually lost custody of son Christopher when he was eight, along with his two younger half-siblings, in November 2017 to Texas Child Protective Services, after Dallas hospital staff raised concerns.
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"I am happy that she decided to do the right thing. Eventually, the lies had to stop," the boy's father, Ryan Crawford, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
"Now, hopefully, those who thought a mother could never do this to their child will see evil does exist."
Crawford also said Christopher is now doing well, having since recovered from his mother's abuse and gone on to do well at school and grown very athletic.
Crawford had apparently tried to convince Dallas County family court judges that his son was not ill for years. However, they believed Bowen.
At one stage, one judge also prohibited Crawford from visiting his son, who was three at the time.
Now Crawford is trying to bring more attention to cases like Bowen's, adding: "Medical abuse is under reported every day.
"Now its time to move forward and make sure no child has to suffer the abuse my son endured."
Bowen now faces up to 20 years in prison for the second-degree felony. according to court records.
According to court reports, a sentencing hearing for Bowen is scheduled for 11 October.
Featured Image Credit: Dallas County Sheriff's Office