DALLAS -- (WBBH) -- In his eight years of life, Christopher Bowen has been to the hospital 323 times and has undergone 13 major surgeries.
He’s been on a feeding tube delivering food through his small intestines, confined to a wheelchair, and has even spent time in hospice.
At various times, his mother, Kaylene Bowen, said he had cancer or suffered from a rare degenerative disorder that affected his oxygen supply. She tried to get him on the lung transplant list, according to CPS records obtained by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Doctors and CPS investigators involved in the case now say there was nothing wrong with Christopher and he never needed to have a feeding tube or oxygen -- or many of the medically invasive procedures he underwent.
Last month, Christopher and his two siblings were removed from their mother’s care after she came to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, claiming he had suffered a massive seizure.
He is now in foster care.
Kaylene Bowen is in the Dallas County Jail on an injury to a child charge. Her bail is set at $150,000. She declined an interview request.
Christopher’s father, Ryan Crawford, says her arrest was a long time coming. He's angry that it took so long for the system to finally believe that Christopher’s mother was lying about illnesses.
“How do you do 13 surgeries? How do you do it?” he asked. “How do you do 13 surgeries and not question the fifth surgery? The sixth surgery?”
Investigators think the case is one of Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a mental disorder in which a caregiver makes up an illness or injury to get medical care.
“They doctor shop and hospital shop,” says Dr. Marc Feldman, a nationally recognized expert on the disorder. “They often frequent many emergency rooms over a wide geographic area. One doctor may never know that medical procedures or diagnostic tests have already been performed elsewhere, so it happens again and again and again.”