UPDATE: Christopher Bowen, the 8-year-old who was forced to go under the knife 13 times for no reason, is finally going to be back with his father, Ryan Crawford, as his mother is accused of putting the child through unnecessary harm.
From an early age, Bowen was forced to undergo invasive surgeries because his mother kept claiming her son was ill, when in fact, he was perfectly healthy. While Crawford tried to take the child from his mother once he noticed that she had been treating him poorly, the court ignored his claims.
But on Wednesday, an agreement was reached after Child Protective Services (CPS) recommended to Associate Judge C. Andrew Ten Eyck that the boy be placed with his father. By Friday, dad and son should be back together after a long wait.
“God answers prayers. We’ve been praying for eight years,” the boy’s grandmother, Nelly Crawford, told reporters. “We’re so happy. This is a day we’ll never forget and celebrate. Y’all rest assured, he’s going to be well taken care of because he is loved.”
Something tells us this Christmas will be extra sweet for little Christopher.
Christopher Bowen, 8, was thought to be a frail and sick child. But after 323 hospital visits and 13 major surgeries, investigators with Child Protective Service (CPS) now say he never needed medical intervention in the first place.
Kaylene Bowen, the child’s mother, allegedly kept her son confined to a wheelchair, telling him and others he had a rare degenerative disorder that required him to be fed with the help of a feeding tube.
Claiming his ailment impacted his oxygen supply, Bowen even placed the child on a lung transplant list. But after CPS found out that it had all been for nothing, they placed Christopher and his two siblings in foster care. Now, Bowen is in the Dallas County Jail and won’t leave the facility unless she can come up with a $150,000 bail.
Unfortunately, the little boy’s father, Ryan Crawford, was not given custody of his son. He argues that CPS should have never put Christopher in foster care and that he always knew Bowen wasn’t a good mother, so much so that he previously tried to alert them about her ways. He said he’s sorry they only listened to him now.
“How do you do 13 surgeries? How do you do it?” Crawford asked. “How do you do 13 surgeries and not question the fifth surgery? The sixth surgery?”
During the custody battle over Christopher, Crawford represented himself in the proceedings, telling the judge that Bowen was lying about their son’s condition. Despite his warnings, the judge took Bowen’s side.
“Every single [time] she went into [the] courtroom, she would say Christopher is dying,” Crawford said. “The judge stated that I needed to accept that my son was dying, and I said, 'No, I’m not going to accept that my son was dying' and she took away from my visitation.”
In 2014, Crawford hired an attorney in order to prove his son was not sick and that he wanted full custody of the boy. Unfortunately, the judge refused to look at the records, completely dismissing his claims and his motion.
“It makes me feel as if the system wants to believe the mother all the time in situations, when the father is there fighting,” Crawford vented.
While Crawford claimed he complained to CPS about the abuse, and so did the child’s aunt, the agency claimed they have no records of the complaints. But in 2015, Dr. Michelle Thomas reached out to CPS in a letter stating that Bowen may have been exposing Christopher to medical child abuse.
CPS eventually investigated the case, finding that “mother has moved from exaggerating symptoms to inducing symptoms,” Dr. Suzanne Dakil wrote in an affidavit provided to the CPS investigator.
Crawford, who said his son is thriving now that he’s away from his mother, is fighting to get his son back. His co-workers even set up a GoFundMe page to help him obtain the money needed for an attorney.
“Out of everything that has happened, the worst thing you can do is put my children in foster care with strangers,” he said. “I need my son in my life and my son needs me in [his] life.”
Investigators said that Bowen likely suffers from Munchausen syndrome, a mental disorder that prompts the afflicted to make up an illness or injury to get medical care, but Crawford said he thinks Bowen did what she did for the money.
“Obviously, she was living life for free and off my son,” he said.
It’s horrific to think that a mother would put her own child through so many serious medical procedures for no reason, and that through it all, the system would completely ignore the father’s concerns.
Stories like this must not be ignored. The more we discuss and report on these cases, the more aware the public will become and perhaps more children will be spared from experiencing the same issues.
Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters, Mike Blake