Summary: A Texas mother has been arrested for allegedly abusing her child with unnecessary medical care.
Kaylene Bowen claimed her son, Christopher, had a genetic disease. The Texas mother had raised thousands of dollars to care for him, and she had brought him to hospitals hundreds of time and made him undergo 13 major surgeries. But on Wednesday, Bowen was arrested, and police said that she had faked the illness, according to The Star-Telegram.
Bowen, 34, said that Christopher had cancer, a genetic disease, and other ailments. She had forced the 8-year-old to undergo painful treatment, but authorities said that the medical care was not warranted. Bowen was arrested on Wednesday for injury to a child with serious bodily harm, and authorities said that the mother may suffer from Munchausen syndrome by proxy.
Munchausen syndrome by proxy is a mental illness where a caregiver makes up or causes an illness to their child or a vulnerable person.
Ryan Crawford, the boy’s father, said that he had alerted authorities about Bowen’s behavior before, but the courts continued to side with her.
âIt was always the same story: Christopher is dying,â Crawford told The Star-Telegram. âThe father doesnât need to be around because he doesnât know how to take care of him. Every time I went to court, they made me feel like I was the worst human ever.â
Child Protective Services shared that Christopher was seen 323 times at hospitals or care centers in Dallas and Houston. Between 2009 and 2016, the boy was placed on oxygen, used a wheelchair, and was outfitted with a feeding tube. Additionally, Bowen placed Christopher in hospice care and enrolled him on a list to receive a lung transplant.
Bowen had raised $8,000 to care for her son, and her behavior was unchecked for years until hospital staff blew the whistle that Christopher did not have cancer. According to Fox News, it is often difficult for medical professionals to spot MunchausenÂ syndrome by proxy because they blindly trust the caregiver’s information about their child.
âI am very concerned that mother has moved from exaggerating symptoms to inducing symptoms,â said Dr. Suzanne Dakil, who was one of the hospitalÂ staff involved who reported Bowen. âIf a mother has given Chris something to induce a seizure, this is potentially fatal. At this point, I am very concerned for his welfare.â
Bowen has not been officially diagnosed withÂ Munchausen syndrome by proxy but her actions match those of someone with the mental illness.
âItâs horrible for my son, or any kid because obviously, my son is not the only one that has had to go through this type of torture,â Crawford told The Star-Telegram. âThe system has to be exposed â all the weaknesses that are in the system â because the kids donât deserve that.â
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