PHOENIX — A Texas woman has been arrested after her 8-year-old son had hundreds of unnecessary hospital visits and 13 surgeries, officials say.
The tipping point came last month, when 34-year-old Kaylene Bowen-Wright brought her son Christopher Bowen to a Dallas hospital, claiming he had a seizure, according to documents obtained by the Star-Telegram of Fort Worth.
The medical staff reported seeing a “general and full shake,” but could find no evidence of a seizure, officials reported.
That led them to suspect that his symptoms may have been caused intentionally, and they alerted Child Protective Services — the second such report since 2015.
“I am very concerned that mother has moved from exaggerating symptoms to inducing symptoms,” Dr. Suzanne Dakil wrote in the CPS petition, the newspaper reported.
How did this happen?
Investigators believe the medical abuse began when Christopher was only 11 days old in 2009, the Star-Telegram said.
Medical records show Christopher saw the doctor 323 times in Dallas and Houston between 2009 and 2016, according to the CPS petition.
In his short life, Christopher was placed full time on oxygen and used a wheelchair at times. He had a feeding tube outfitted directly into his small intestine, which resulted in three life-threatening blood infections, the newspaper said.
Bowen-Wright had him in hospice care before and even tried to get him on the lung transplant list, the Star-Telegram added.
She was arrested and charged with injury to a child with serious bodily harm last week, according to the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office.
A YouCaring fundraiser two years ago, which raised more than $8,000, said the young boy was battling a severe case of arteriovenous malformation.
“Diagnosed at the age of two, the congenital condition is slowly taking the wind out of the sails of this bright and active boy,” the campaign reads.
Doctors determined Christopher does not have cancer or many of the symptoms his mother alleged. In fact, medical staff deemed a majority of his procedures unnecessary, according to the Star-Telegram.
‘The kids don’t deserve that’
The child’s father, Ryan Crawford, told the Star-Telegram that he tried to persuade Dallas County Family Court judges that his son was not sick.
“How do you do 13 surgeries? How do you do it?” he asked. “How do you do 13 surgeries and not question the fifth surgery? The sixth surgery?”
Since being removed from his mother’s care, Christopher eats regularly, has had no seizures, feeding tubes, oxygen or an IV, officials said.
Crawford is currently looking to get custody of Christopher, who, along with his two half-siblings, was removed from her care and placed in foster care.
“It’s 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,” Crawford told the newspaper.