A North Texas woman accused of taking her healthy son to the hospital 323 times and making him undergo 13 major surgeries pleaded guilty Thursday, Aug. 15 in a Dallas County courtroom to recklessly causing injury to her child, The Star-Telegram reported.
A sentencing hearing for 35-year-old Kaylene Bowen is scheduled for Oct. 11, according to court records. Bowen faces two to 20 years in prison on the second-degree felony.
“I am happy that she decided to do the right thing. Eventually, the lies had to stop,” said the boy’s father, Ryan Crawford, according to The Star-Telegram. “Now hopefully those who thought a mother could never do this to their child will see evil does exist.”
Eight-year-old Christopher, the couple’s son, and his two half-siblings were removed from Bowen’s care in November 2017 by Child Protective Services. She was accused of lying and exaggerating her son’s medical condition.
Bowen claimed her son was dying from a rare genetic disorder and was in need of a transplant due to lung cancer.
Christopher had been placed full-time on oxygen and sometimes used a wheelchair. He was also fitted with a feeding tube, which led to multiple life-threatening blood infections.
Crawford said he tried to convince family court judges for years that his son was not sick, but they sided with Bowen.
Dallas hospital staff eventually determined Christopher did not have cancer or several of the alleged symptoms, which led to the boy’s removal and Bowen’s arrest on Dec. 6, 2017.
“It’s horrible for my son, or any kid because obviously, my son is not the only one that has had to go through this type of torture,” said Crawford. “The system has to be exposed—all the weaknesses that are in the system—because the kids don’t deserve that.”
It is believed that Bowen has Munchausen syndrome by proxy, which is a complex in which caregivers—usually a mother—repeatedly exaggerate or create medical symptoms to gain attention, according to the report.