A mother won’t rest until her child is safe. Even if it means working multiple jobs, going without food, or even sacrificing her own life, a mother will do whatever is necessary to ensure her child’s wellbeing.
For the majority of one Texas boy’s life, his mother fought tirelessly to get him the treatment he needed for a variety of life-threatening illnesses. However, one doctor called the police when he realized there was something suspicious about the boy’s symptoms…
When Ryan Crawford was out at a night club in Texas one evening, he met Kaylene Bowen and the two hit it off instantly. “I was at a club and she seemed like a nice woman,” Ryan said about the moment they met. “She was pleasant, pretty. She just caught my eye.”
Ryan and Kaylene started seeing each other after that night, but things quickly got serious when Kaylene accidentally got pregnant. The pregnancy went smoothly until Kaylene went into labor prematurely at the Medical City Hospital in Dallas…
In April 2009, Kaylene gave birth to a baby boy born prematurely at 33 weeks. Baby Christopher was admitted to the NICU at the hospital but doctors explained Christopher would be fine. A few days later, however, Christopher started having some issues.
The Milk Allergy
“It started eight days after he was born,” Ryan said. Kaylene claimed Christopher was severely allergic to milk and couldn’t keep any down. “Every time that he would drink milk, he would throw it up, or so she (said),” Ryan said. “It didn’t make sense because I never saw him throw up any milk…”
Shortly after Christopher’s birth, Ryan and Kaylene decided their relationship wasn’t working and that it would be best to go their separate ways. But before they could do that, they had to go to court in order to figure out a custody agreement.
Fighting For Custody
At a custody hearing in Dallas County family court a few months later, Ryan was completely blindsided when Kaylene made some outlandish claims about Christopher’s health. Ryan didn’t believe her for a second but the judge took Kaylene’s word…
“She started explaining to the judge that the doctors stated my son would never walk,” Ryan said about what his ex partner said during family court. “And then she stated that he had problems continuing to eat and that he’s going to need a feeding tube.”
No One Listens
“I was horrified,” Ryan said. “Because from what I knew, my son was fine. He just needed — not even extra care — he was fine.” Ryan and his lawyer tried to convince the judge that Christopher was perfectly healthy, but it only hurt his case more…
“The issues escalated to eventually she claimed that my son was dying,” Ryan said. The judge had no reason to believe Kaylene would lie about her own son’s health, and believed that Ryan was a father in denial about his child’s condition.
After 3 different judges heard the case, they each sided with Kaylene and granted her full custody before criticizing Ryan about being a better father for his sick child. After that, Ryan fought to save Christopher from his mother for years, but no one ever listened…
Once Bowen had sole custody of her son, the little boy’s health quickly deteriorated. From the time he was a baby in 2009 until 2016, Bowen brought Christopher to doctors throughout Dallas and Houston to be examined for a variety of issues a staggering 323 times.
8 Years Of Hell
During those 8 years, Bowen provided false information and exaggerations about Christopher so that doctors would run countless tests, radiological exams, perform surgeries, procedures, and insert feeding tubes, ports, and central lines into him…
Because of the central line, which is a catheter placed in a large vein or an artery to administer medicine or nutrients to extremely sick patients for long periods of time, Christopher nearly lost his life 3 separate times when he developed deadly blood infections.
Between 2014 and 2015, Christopher was reportedly so sick with cancer and desperately needed a lung transplant that he had to be treated in hospice care and Bowen actually signed a “do not resuscitate” order when her son was just 5 years old in case the worst happened…
Things Get Better…
When Christopher developed 1 of his 3 blood infections in October 2015, he was admitted to the ICU and doctors got Bowen to agree to be evaluated to see if he still needed the oxygen and feeding tubes. Christopher started eating 3 regular meals a day and was strong enough to be released from the hospital.
Back To The Hospital
But once Christopher was back in his mother’s care, it wasn’t long before she had him admitted again in another hospital in Houston. Because Bowen refused to give the hospital records of Christopher’s previous care, doctors had to start the cycle of testing over again…
Caught In A Lie
Doctors finally realized Bowen was lying about her son’s symptoms when she brought Christopher in to the Children’s Hospital in Dallas and said he was having seizures. The staff could see Christopher’s body jerking but found no seizure activity during a EKG. “I am very concerned that [Christopher’s] mother has moved from exaggerating symptoms to inducing symptoms,” a doctor wrote to Child Protective Services. “If his mother has given Chris something to induce a seizure, this is potentially fatal.”
When CPS investigated the case, they discovered Christopher had been forced to undergo 13 surgeries throughout his lifetime and had spent most of his life in and out of hospitals. On November 16, Christopher and his 2 siblings were taken from their mother. Once back at the hospital, doctors removed the oxygen, IV, and feeding tube from Christopher and watched as he started functioning normally without them…
Christopher was sent to foster care and Bowen was arrested and charged with injury to a child for the years of medical abuse that she inflicted on her son. Investigators believe Bowen suffers from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, an illness where a caregiver or parent makes up symptoms and illnesses about another person for attention.
Fighting For Custody
“I put myself to blame for the simple fact that if I was there from the beginning for my son, he would never have had to go through these issues,” Ryan said. “I tried over and over and over to convince people that my son wasn’t sick and that she was manipulating the system. It didn’t work. Nobody believed me.” Now Ryan is fighting for custody of his son. “I’m still fighting the system.”