In the case of 8-year-old Christopher Bowen, who had over 300 doctor visits and at least a dozen invasive surgeries as a result of his mother lying about him having cancer and other disorders, the child was finally placed in the care of his father.
Ryan Crawford was granted temporary managing conservatorship of his son by a Texas judge Wednesday after an agreement was reached by all parties involved.
“God answers prayers. We’ve been praying for eight years,” Nelly Crawford, Christopher’s grandmother told the Star-Telegram. “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.”
This news comes after Crawford fought for custody of Christopher for several years after suspecting his son’s mother, Kaylene Bowen, was lying about Christopher’s deteriorating health.
He said he filed reports with Child Protective Services and told judge after judge in the Dallas family courts about his concerns; however, his attempts resulted in Crawford getting barred from visiting his son in late 2012.
In November, medical providers alerted Child Protective Services about possible medical abuse against Christopher. The child and his two half-siblings were removed and put into foster care.
Bowen is accused of medical child abuse, often known as Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a disorder in which a caregiver exaggerates or creates medical symptoms in another, usually to gain attention.
Bowen, who also goes by Bowen-Wright, had denied the allegations.
Since last month’s removal by CPS, Crawford had still been fighting to get Christopher out of foster care and home with him. Although CPS was unsure if Christopher should be placed with his estranged father, this week they recommended to Associate Judge C. Andrew Ten Eyck that Christopher be placed with his father. Christopher will be placed with his father by Friday.
Crawford and his son will also undergo individual and family therapy. After the hearing, the father said the long-waited news is overwhelming.
“I had to do this all by myself for eight years. And for people to actually show their concern and be so welcoming... it’s comforted me,” Crawford told the Star-Telegram. “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.”
Crawford’s work colleagues have since started a GoFundMe page to help the father with legal expenses.
(Photo: CBS News)