A Dallas judge listened from the bench Friday as witnesses talked about eight years of unnecessary medical procedures a small child endured at the hands of his mother.
State District Judge Ernest White said in his time on the bench he had not heard testimony more disturbing.
White sentenced Kaylene Bowen to six years in prison for manipulating health care professionals into performing hundreds of unnecessary medical procedures and 13 unnecessary surgeries on her son during an eight-year period.
Kaylene Bowen, 36, pleaded guilty in August to causing serious bodily injury to a child after authorities accused her of subjecting her son to years of sometimes painful and unnecessary medical tests, surgeries and procedures.
Bowen, who was probation eligible, was facing two to 20 years in prison on the second-degree felony. Bowen elected to have a judge assess her sentence.
Christopher Bowen was 8 when he and his two-half siblings were removed from their mother by Child Protective Services in November 2017 over allegations that the mother had been lying and exaggerating about her son’s health.
Christopher’s father, Ryan Crawford, tried to convince Dallas County family court judges for years that his son was not sick but they believed Bowen. One judge even prohibited Crawford from visits with his son, who was then 3.
Crawford said he had to learn to use all types of medical equipment in order to visit Christopher. Then Crawford had to take up the mantle of investigator and gather medical records from the various doctors and hospitals that his son visited to try and prove that he was healthy and not on the verge of death.
Crawford said it was a mistake to try and represent himself in his case. It cost him a lot of time that he could have been spending with his son, he said.
But Crawford said the turning point came after he saw an article about another child suffering from a mother caught in the throes of Munchausen syndrome by proxy, and reached out.
“I made a post on Facebook saying that I was going through the same thing,” Crawford said. “And someone replied and said if I was serious, they could help.”
Still, Crawford said — with all the procedures, all the doctors involved, and the judges and legal and social service workers who looked at this case — someone should have seen that something was wrong.
“Now you see,” Crawford said about the people who never believed him at first. “I’m glad there was a judge that was able to stand up for Christopher. Medical abuse is something that is very difficult for any of us to understand. It’s difficult to understand that a mother could do this to their child. So having to gather all the evidence that’s needed to prove something like this is a large task.”
For people in the legal profession, doctors and other health care professionals, this is something they need to learn more about, Crawford said.
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SOURCE: The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Mitch Mitchell