A judge in Dallas, Texas on Wednesday granted temporary conservatorship of 8-year-old Christopher Bowen to his father, Ryan Crawford, under an agreement between all parties, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
“God answers prayers,” the boy’s grandmother, Nelly Crawford, told the newspaper. “We’ve been praying for eight years … 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.”
Kaylene Bowen-Wright, was arrested Dec. 6 on a charge of injury to a child with serious bodily injury.
Bowen-Wright, 34, has denied allegations that she suffers from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, – that is, the act of a caregiver fabricating or inducing an illness in another person, typically for attention or to meet other emotional needs through the treatment process.
Ryan Crawford now has custody of his son Christopher – Crawford has been battling for years to convince authorities Kaylene Bowen was lying about their son’s health.
Christopher Bowen was absolutely in good health but was saddled with a fake cancer diagnosis by his mom
A sweet outcome for Christopher Bowen’s dad, Ryan Crawford who has been fighting to get his son, out of foster care and home with him. CPS removed Christopher and his half-siblings after their mother, Bowen-Wright, was accused of medical child abuse.
Crawford said he has been battling for years to convince authorities Kaylene Bowen was lying about their son’s health.
Christopher Bowen, according to a Child Protective Services emergency removal petition, was seen by doctors 323 times at hospitals and pediatrics centers in Dallas and Houston between 2009 and 2016.
He also underwent 13 major surgeries during that span, records show.
Christopher and his two half-siblings were removed from their mother’s custody last month after medical providers voiced their concerns to CPS officials for the second time since 2015.
Kaylene Bowen-Wright has denied allegations that she suffers from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, but by court ruling she has lost custody of all three children and barred from any contact
Bowen-Wright, who was recently released from Dallas County Jail after her bail was significantly lowered, is now barred from having contact with any child.
CPS officials recommended to a judge on Wednesday that the boy be placed with Crawford. The child hadn’t seen his father outside of supervised visits since 2012 and that reunion is expected to come on Friday.
Bowen-Wright’s eldest child remains with her biological father, and CPS officials are assessing whether the youngest child can be removed from foster care and placed with her grandmother.
Prior to the hearing, Crawford said the day had been a long time coming and expressed thanks for the outpouring of support, including more than $12,000 raised by an online fundraiser organized by his colleagues.
“I had to do this all by myself for eight years,” Crawford told the Star-Telegram. “And for people to actually show their concern and be so welcoming … it’s comforted me. It’s let me know that others are finally on board with what I have been saying and that Christopher has a tremendous amount of supporters.”
Father and son reunited: Crawford and his son Christopher together by court ruling
The relieved dad said earlier this month that no one believed him when he insisted Bowen-Wright was lying when she claimed Christopher had cancer, even posting a photograph of the boy in a Make-A-Wish shirt.
Speaking with CBS Dallas Ryan lamented the sequence of events that led to the situation
“Every single time we went to court, she would say that my son was dying the next day,” he said.
“No one wanted to believe me until it was almost too late.”
Ryan singled out the bizarre decision of Judge Lori Hockett during a 2014 hearing, the same judge who had prevented him from visiting his son in late 2012, who refused to hear new evidence in the case. He said the judge chastised him for dragging Bowen back in court when her son was dying.
Crawford’s attorney Shannon Pritchard, described Judge Hockett’s decision to not hear the evidence “a clear abuse of discretion,” during the 2014 hearing.
Since 2014, at least two different online fundraisers had been started to help Bowen, one alleging that her son had a severe case of Arteriovernous malformation and the other, that he had been diagnosed with cancer and only had six months to live.
Carolyn Williams, Christopher’s aunt, recalled meeting Bowen-Wright once at a hospital where her nephew had a scheduled colonoscopy.
“At that time, she told us he had cancer,” Bowen-Wright told Williams.
“He was going to have surgery.”
But Williams said she made a startling find when Bowen-Wright later emerged from an examination room with X-rays and medical documents.
“I looked at them,” Williams told the newspaper. “Kaylene said this must be the cancer. I’m reading real fast, looking at the notes, the summary. I said no, he does not have cancer. Read down here. It says nothing was found.”