Child welfare workers on Monday told a judge that an 8-year-old is thriving with his father after the boy’s mother told people he had a terminal illness and allegedly subjected him to more than a dozen major surgeries – even though he was healthy.
The father, Ryan Crawford, said his son Christopher is adjusting well to his new family and no longer believes he is going to die.
"He's happy he's smiling, no type of disciplinary issues,” Crawford said. “He's very respectful. It's just all great."
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Crawford won temporary custody in December, and Monday’s court hearing was so the judge could get a status report on the case.
The boy’s mother, Katylene Bowen, was arrested on a felony charge of injury to a child. She has not yet been formally charged with a crime.
Bowen’s criminal attorney, Heath Hyde, said she believed her son had serious medical issues and was just following doctors’ advice.
"I think at the end of the day you will see that Ms. Bowen was an attentive mother doing what she thought was best for her kids and relied on the opinions of a bunch of others,” Hyde said.
In the custody hearing, Bowen’s attorney, Lindsey McKay, asked that Crawford take down social media posts that “disparaged” Bowen.
McKay also raised questions about a possible issue with the boy’s eyes and noted that he is no longer wearing glasses.
Crawford agreed to take down the posts and take his son to get an eye exam.
The next hearing in the custody case was set for March 7.