Cancer, muscular dystrophy, heart problems, seizures: these are some of the diseases that a mother in Texas attributed to her son for years, which allowed her to make the child go to more than 320 visits in hospitals and undergo 13 operations in the operating room.
However, this minor, whose name is Christopher Bowen and is now ten years old, was actually healthy. His mother, Kaylene Bowen-Wright, 36, had invented everything. And now he will pay for it.
The woman was sentenced this Friday to six years in prison in a court in Dallas, Texas, for pretending that her son had illnesses and getting him to receive medical treatments and surgeries that he didn't need. In August, he had already pleaded guilty to causing the minor reckless damage.RELATED
Investigators said the boy spent the first eight years of his life in and out of the hospital, according to local broadcaster NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.
Christopher was exposed to radiotherapy, contracted sepsis several times and suffered blood clots after receiving unnecessary treatments, reports this medium. His mother even had doctors insert a tube for him to feed and be forced to use a wheelchair.
In late 2017, health professionals at a Dallas hospital noticed signs of child medical abuse and filed a complaint with the city's Child Protective Services. Police then arrested the woman, according to The Dallas Morning News.
Authorities removed Chris topher and two of his brothers from the custody of his mother, and granted it to the child's father, Ryan Crawford, who for years had tried to convince the judges that his son was healthy, the newspaper adds.
The local NBC affiliate reports that Bowen-Wright apparently suffers from a mental health disorder, called ‘Munchausen syndrome by proxy’, which causes a person to attribute symptoms of invented diseases to people under their care.
Initially, the woman faced a penalty of up to 20 years in prison, but later the judge reduced her sentence.
According to experts, convincing family court judges that a mother may be medically abusing her child is often a complicated challenge, explains Fort-Wart Starth Telegram.
Even in 2017, such child medical abuse was relatively unknown compared to other types of abuse, according to Dr. Marc Feldman, a national expert in this field. "Many judges have no experience in this," he explained.
"I meet many judges of deaf family courts," Feldman said. "Both they and most members of the public cannot believe that a seemingly careful mother may be performing child medical abuse."
Feldman said that such judges also tend to treat doctors as "gods who cannot fail, without realizing that these abusive mothers go to the doctor until they find someone who accepts their demands."
"There were too many manipulations, too many lies," said the father and Christopher Friday. "Not know what to do". Now, says Crawford, his son is a happy child who loves football and being part of a choir.
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