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A Texas mother admitted to forcing her healthy son to undergo numerous unneeded medical surgeries from 2009 to 2017.
According to CBS 11, the medical abuse began when Kaylene Bowen-Wright’s son, Christopher, was just 11 days old. According to officials, Christopher unnecessarily visited the doctor 323 times over the course of eight years.
By the time he was eight, Christopher had undergone 13 major surgeries, and was confined to a wheelchair. His feeding tube also led to a life-threatening blood infection. His mother once tried to get him on the lung transplant list.
Over the years, Bowen-Wright even created fundraisers for Christopher’s medical bills, claiming he was dying from cancer and a rare genetic disorder. One fundraiser raised $8,191 of its $10,000 goal.
A Dallas hospital whistle-blower reportedly alerted Child Protective Services about Christopher, saying that he did not have cancer or many of the other ailments his mother insisted he had.
Christopher, and his two-half siblings, were removed from their mother’s custody in November 2017.
Authorities believe the 35-year-old suffers from a variation of Munchausen syndrome, a mental illness in which a person repeatedly acts as if he or she has a physical or mental disorder when, in reality, he or she has caused the symptoms. The disorder also includes a caregiver who lies or exaggerates a child’s medical symptoms just for attention and sympathy.
In a Dallas County court last week, Bowen-Wright reportedly plead guilty to recklessly causing injury to her son.
Ryan Crawford, Christopher’s father, who now has custody of the 10-year-old, responded to Bowen’s guilty plea.
“I am happy that she decided to do the right thing. Eventually, the lies had to stop,” Crawford told the Star-Telegram. “Now, hopefully, those who thought a mother could never do this to their child will see evil does exist.”
Crawford also claimed he tried to gain custody of Christopher three separate times, in 2010, 2011 and 2012, but was ignored.
“Every time I went to court, they made me feel like I was the worst human ever,” he told the Star-Telegram. “The system has to be exposed — all the weaknesses that are in the system — because the kids don’t deserve that.”
Bowen-Wright faces up to 20 years in prison. Her sentencing is scheduled for October 11.
Christopher is reportedly medically healthy and athletic. His father is still fighting for full-custody in an ongoing legal battle.
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