A Wichita Falls mother is facing charges after investigators accused her of faking her son's medical symptoms for attention, a psychological condition called Munchausen syndrome by proxy.
Megan Gee was arrested in Wichita Falls last week for serious bodily injury to a child after an arrest warrant affidavit was filed in Tarrant County.
An investigator for the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office began working on the case in May and in court documents detail a pattern of behavior going back to 2015.
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According to the arrest affidavit, Gee took her 4-year-old son to 227 doctor and hospital visits throughout his young life and he'd been prescribed 77 medications during that time. Those visits included hospitals in Wichita Falls and Cook Children's in Fort Worth.
At Cook Children's in 2016, doctors even inserted a feeding tube after the mother said the child refused to eat or became sick after eating, the investigator wrote.
Ultimately, multiple doctors raised concerns with Child Protective Services that Gee may have been lying about her son's symptoms and the child was removed from the home.
A Tarrant County investigator said the foster parents reported the child seemed normal and healthy.
Doctors say detecting and stopping Munchausen syndrome by proxy can be difficult.
"It's hard to diagnose because quite often the folks who are doing it are quite good at masking what they are doing," said Dr. John Burruss, CEO of Metrocare Services, which provides services for those with mental health challenges and developmental disabilities. "It's very difficult if you're spreading the care under a lot of different people."
Burruss said Munchausen syndrome by proxy is a psychological condition but it does not excuse the behavior
"It doesn't make it right. That doesn't mean people should get a pass. It's wrong," said Burruss.
Dr. Burruss said the person typically knows what they are doing is wrong but can not pinpoint the underlying reasons.
"They're not oblivious or blind to [what they're doing] but there are also reasons they don't understand," said Burruss.
It's unclear who has custody of the child now. CPS said it could not comment on the specifics of the investigation.
According to Wichita County, Gee has already bonded out of a jail and does not have an attorney on file.