A Texas mother who put her healthy son through 13 major surgeries, made him endure more than 320 visits to the doctor during the first 8 years of his life, and confined him to a wheelchair has been sentenced to six years in prison.
Kaylene Bowen, 35, of Dallas, was sentenced on Friday for medically abusing her young son, Christopher.
She had been facing a maximum sentence of 20 years, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
State prosecutors urged the judge to impose a maximum sentence.
Kaylene Bowen, 35, of Dallas, is seen in a Dallas courtroom on Friday after she was sentenced to six years in prison
Bowen, 35, was facing between two and 20 years in state prison for medically abusing her young son
Her son, Christopher Bowen, now 10, was subjected to more than a dozen major surgeries, more than 320 hospital visits, hospice care, and other unnecessary treatments
The young boy was healthy, but his mother insisted he was ill – which mental health experts say is a sign of Munchausen syndrome by proxy
In August, Bowen pleaded guilty to recklessly causing injury to a child.
She put Christopher through painful, unnecessary medical procedures after becoming convinced that he was ill.
Bowen, who also goes by the last name Wright, lost custody of Christopher and two younger half-siblings to Texas Child Protective Services in November 2017.
Christopher, now age 10, has since recovered from his mother’s abuse, is doing well at school and has become ‘very athletic,” said his father Ryan Crawford.
The boy is said to be happy and healthy while pursuing his love of soccer and choir, according to KXAS-TV.
The father had unsuccessfully argued his son was not sick before family court judges, whom he said always sided with the mother.
Bowen (above) pleaded guilty in August to ‘recklessly causing injury to a child,’ for putting her son Christopher through painful, unnecessary medical procedures
‘I am happy that she decided to do the right thing. Eventually the lies had to stop,’ Crawford told the Star-Telegram on Friday regarding Bowen’s plea.
‘Now hopefully those who thought a mother could never do this to their child will see evil does exist.’
Authorities said Bowen appeared to show traits of of Munchhausen syndrome by proxy, a psychological condition where a caregiver lies about, exaggerates or makes up medical conditions in a child as a way of getting attention.
Christopher, pictured with his mother, has since recovered from the abuse, is doing well at school
Child Protective Services officials determined Christopher made 323 visits to doctors in Dallas and Houston and underwent 13 major surgeries between 2009 and 2016.
Authorities say the mom made up stories to some people about Christopher dying from a rare genetic disorder, while she told others he had cancer.
She also was accused of holding fundraisers for Christopher and having a feeding tube inserted into his body that caused him to suffer life-threatening blood infections.
Authorities said she even tried to get him a lung transplant and had the boy admitted to hospice.
Crawford, who was denied visits with his son when he was 3 by a judge who believed the mother’s lies, told the Star-Telegram that he wants to call more attention to cases of medical child abuse.