Texas mother charged with Child Abuse
after son had 323 doctor visits and
13 major surgeries
Dallas County, TX – A community in northeast Dallas is reeling over a 34-year-old mother charged with child abuse after spending the past eight years taking her son to 323 doctor visits and putting him through 13 major surgeries.
Kaylene Bowenwright, of Lake Highlands, was arraigned in Dallas County Dec. 6 on a warrant accusing her of injury to a child with serious bodily injury with bail set at $150,000, according to court documents. Bowenwright was also ordered not to communicate with her son Christopher, 8, and have no contact with other minors.
“Throughout his young life, Christopher has been placed full time on oxygen and, at times, used a wheelchair. He’s endured invasive procedures and surgeries, including being fitted with a feeding tube that fed directly into his small intestine and led to multiple life-threatening blood infections,” the Star-Telegram reported.
Dr. Suzanne Roper-Dakil of Children’s Medical Center Dallas suspected that Bowenwright may have been trying to make Christopher sick, according to an affidavit included in a Child Protective Services petition for Christopher’s removal from his mother obtained by the Star-Telegram. This suspicion was raised after Bowenwright recently took Christopher to the center because of a supposed seizure.
“I am very concerned that mother has moved from exaggerating symptoms to inducing symptoms,” Roper-Dakil wrote in the affidavit. “If mother has given Chris something to induce a seizure, this is potentially fatal. At this point, I am very concerned for his welfare.”
A request for comment has been placed with Children’s Medical Center Dallas.
Christopher’s father Ryan Crawford tried convincing a Dallas County family court judge that his son was not as sick as his mother claimed and she was just fishing for attention. Crawford believes Bowenwright may exhibit Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy, a disorder in which a person creates or induces symptoms in others to gain attention.
Bowenwright’s claims regarding her son’s poor health even inspired the Dallas community to start a YouCaring campaign two years ago for Christopher that has raised more than $8,000.
“Christopher is battling a severe case of Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) in his lungs, kidneys, liver, heart and brain. Diagnosed at the age of two, the congenital condition is slowly taking the wind out of the sails of this bright and active boy. His sparkling eyes and ready smile belie the fact that his arteries and veins are no longer working as they should to deliver oxygen-rich blood throughout his body,” the YouCaring campaign states.
A GoFundMe campaign called “Christopher’s Beach Bash” was launched in Aug. 2016. It raised $610 before being shut down. The campaign appears to have been started by a family friend, according to a preserved version of it on Google.
“Never in your life do u want to hear the dreadful ‘C’ word about anyone but hearing it when it comes to a 7-year-old that you love like your own is what I’m facing right now. One of my very dear friends, Kaylene, has a son who has been diagnosed with cancer. Christopher has been given 6 months to love by the doctors but I know the God that I serve and he is more powerful than the words of doctors or attacks from satan,” Lori Hawkins-Sims wrote in the campaign description on GoFundMe.
Doctors determined that Christopher does not have cancer or many of the symptoms that Bowenwright claims and which inspired the YouCaring and GoFundMe campaigns, the Star-Telegram added.
A request for comment has been placed with Bowenwright’s public defender.