An 8-year-old boy in Dallas has braved 323 visits to the doctor and 13 major surgeries. But the boy’s father suspects he is not actually ill—and that his mother suffers from Munchausen syndrome by proxy.
Mother Kaylene Bowen was arrested last week for felony injury to a child after allegedly falsely claiming her son Christopher had terminal cancer, that he required a lung transplant and had an allergy to milk.
As NBC Dallas Fort-Worth reports, a child protection service casework concluded that “the doctors do not find Christopher to be sick,” following an investigation.
Christopher’s father, Ryan Crawford, told NBC that he believes Kaylene has been lying about the boy’s symptoms and medical condition for years.
He alleged that just eight days after their son was born, Kaylene claimed he had a severe milk allergy.
"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."
Ryan claims he has been trying to convince authorities that his ex-partner was making up Christopher’s sickness for years.
"She started explaining to the judge that the doctors stated my son would never walk,” he told the broadcaster.
“And then she stated that he had problems continuing to eat and that he's going to need a feeding tube."
He added: "I was horrified… because from what I knew, my son was fine. He just needed — not even extra care — he was fine."
According to WFAA, medical records reveal that Christopher was seen 323 times at hospitals and pediatric centres in Dallas and Houston. A Child Protective Services petition also states the boy underwent 13 major surgeries.
Ryan claims his former partner has also raised thousands of dollars for Christopher’s alleged cancer battle and other surgeries.
Last month, child services intervened after Kaylene allegedly told doctors her son had a seizure, which could not be confirmed by medical tests.
Christopher is now in foster care.