Mom Accused of Faking Boy's Illness During 300 Hospital Visits & 13 'Major' Surgeries

Christopher Bowen
Kaylene Bowen/Facebook

A mom from Texas has been arrested after claims that she lied about her child's "severe" illness and subjected him to not only hundreds of unnecessary doctors' appointments, but invasive surgeries as well. Kaylene Bowen is facing a felony charge of injury to a child after Child Protective Services began investigating her 8-year-old's medical history. Since Christopher's birth, Bowen has claimed that her son has terminal cancer, needed a lung transplant, and is wheelchair bound, among other claims that have led to what officials now believe were countless unnecessary procedures and appointments.

  • Bowen is accused of injuring her 8-year-old and lying during 323 doctors and hospital visits.

    "The doctors do not find Christopher to be sick," a CPS caseworker wrote after an investigation last month, according to NBC News. Yet, over the past eight years, this mom has convinced her boy as well as those around her that he is terminally ill.

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  • Christopher's father said that Bowen started making things up as soon as the boy was born -- but nobody believed him when he spoke out.

    According to Christopher's father, Ryan Crawford, the doctors' appointments started when Bowen began claiming that their newborn had a a "severe" milk allergy. "It started eight days after he was born," Crawford told NBC News. "Every time that he would drink milk, he would throw it up, or so she (said). It didn't make sense because I never saw him throw up any milk."

  • He's had to unnecessarily endure a feeding tube, confinement to a wheelchair, and being placed in hospice.

    Crawford quickly took Bowen to court but claims that at each hearing she'd announce another serious health setback. "She started explaining to the judge that the doctors stated my son would never walk. And then she stated that he had problems continuing to eat and that he's going to need a feeding tube," Crawford said. "I was horrified because from what I knew, my son was fine. He just needed -- not even extra care -- he was fine."

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  • Judges originally ignored Crawford's abuse claims, assuming that he was in denial over his son's health.

    According to Crawford, three different judges believed the child's mother over him and even scolded him for trying to fight her claims about his deteriorating health. "The judge looked at myself and my attorney and said I can't believe you'd even bring her back to court with your child about to die," he told CBS News. "Every single time we went to court, she would say that my son was dying the next day,"

    As Bowen continued to claim that Christopher was dying, his appointments and treatments began to escalate. "No one wanted to believe me until it was almost too late," Crawford said. "He almost died three different times due to infections from the 13 different surgeries, so he has a … he has a long road ahead of him. I hate that he had to go through all that. I hate it. I hate it so much."

  • In the meantime, Bowen fund-raised for his "terminal cancer," lung transplant, heart surgery, and leg braces.

    Bowen was reportedly able to raise thousands of dollars online to fund Christopher's 13 major operations that may not have been necessary at all. "Just so many surgeries that are just unbelievable,” Crawford told NBC News.

    The CPS investigation also called out the fact that Bowen cut Christopher's hair and posted pictures of him in a Make-A-Wish shirt to help raise money for his cancer treatment. 

  • A CPS report found that he underwent 13 "major" surgeries, used oxygen, and took seizure medicine.

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    According to Crawford, doctors first became suspicious of Bowen two years ago and reported their concerns to Child Protective Services. However, nothing came of their concerns until last month when Bowen brought him back to the hospital. This time she claimed that he had a massive seizure, but according to an internal review, medical tests found no evidence of this.

    Instead, a doctor at Dallas Children's Medical Center was suspicious that Bowen was trying to induce Christopher's seizures and shared her claims with CPS. The child as well as his two siblings were then removed from the home and placed in foster care. 

  • "He could have died," his dad said. "Only God saved him."

    Crawford is currently fighting for custody and hopes to get Christopher out of temporary foster care as soon as possible. "I put myself to blame for the simple fact that if I was there from the beginning for my son, he would never have had to go through these issues," he told NBC News. "I tried over and over and over to convince people that my son wasn't sick and that she was manipulating the system. It didn't work. Nobody believed me."

  • Crawford believes that Bowen has Munchausen syndrome by proxy and used their son for attention.

    According to Mayo Clinic, Munchausen syndrome by proxy (or factitious disorder) is a mental illness in which a caregiver falsely presents a dependent as sick or injured for sympathy or personal benefit. "The person may make up symptoms or even tamper with medical tests to convince others that treatment, such as high-risk surgery, is needed," it states on their website.

    While Bowen is currently in jail on a $150,000 bond, Crawford is working to help his child as he struggles with understanding that he might never have been sick in the first place.

child abuse