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As Sister Wives fans await the start of season 17, some have rewatched prior seasons to catch up on storylines. During season 16, Christine and Kody Brown‘s daughter Ysabel required delicate spinal surgery, requiring travel to a New Jersey hospital during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Fans shared their anger over the Brown patriarch’s reaction to Ysabel’s scheduled surgery, calling Kody’s stunning response to his daughter’s decision “cold and cruel.”

Kody Brown is seated in a confessional interview for "Sister Wives."
Kody Brown | TLC/YouTube

Christine and Kody’s daughter Ysabel had severe scoliosis

Ysabel was first diagnosed with scoliosis at 14 after a routine school exam revealed the condition.

The teen subsequently dealt with chronic discomfort due to the sideways curvature of her spine. The Brown family tried different methods of assisting Ysabel, including physical therapy and a brace that she wore underneath her clothes. However, none of these methods worked enough to help Ysabel’s discomfort.

Ysabel decided to have surgery in September of 2020, at the height of the pandemic. However, Kody made it clear he would not break quarantine with legal wife Robyn Brown to fly to New Jersey for the procedure. He also suggested Ysabel go through her surgery experience alone, a idea which made his daughter cry.

Christine assured her daughter she would be there for her throughout her hospitalization and their required two-week quarantine thereafter.

‘Sister Wives’ fans remain enraged over Kody Brown’s reaction


‘Sister Wives’ Fans Would Love for Christine Brown to ‘Spill the Tea’ on Kody and Her Family

In a Reddit post, fans discussed a clip shared by a fan where Kody, Ysabel, and Christine discussed the young woman’s delicate surgical procedure.

The season 16 clip enraged viewers, who believed Kody’s feelings of estrangement toward Christine took precedence over his daughter’s feelings during this difficult period.

“What I took from his comments was that his feelings for Christine cloud his emotions over his children with her. He can’t separate the two. I feel sorry for Ysabel, as she now knows he’s not the same father to her he is to his kids with Robyn,” wrote one Reddit user.

“I hate the way he glared at Ysabel; there was no emotion from him toward her, no empathy, no hug, no “I love you.” He was just cold and cruel, the way he appeared to treat Christine,” penned a second viewer.

“Of course, the main feeling Kody takes away is that HE feels bad. Not that he sent the message to his daughter that he didn’t care about the pain she was in because it wasn’t convenient for him. Whether that was the intended message or not, you could see the moment Ysabel’s heart breaks,” surmised a third Sister Wives fan.

“I have no idea how Christine kept her composure with Kody after Ysabel got up and left, crying. Crying because of what Kody said. She cries because Kody makes her feel less and like she’s not a priority. I probably would have flown at him as soon as that door closed,” claimed a fourth viewer,” a fourth fan claimed.

‘Sister Wives’ returns for season 17 in September

Season 17 of Sister Wives returns to TLC beginning Sept. 11.

The episodes, which were filmed almost one year ago, will feature several key moments in the family’s life. These include the birth of Mykelti’s first daughter Avalon in Apr. 2021, Christine’s move to Utah (which occurred in Nov. 2021) and the end of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

TLC has not revealed the exact time frame filming took place for this season. However, in an Instagram Live, Christine’s son Paedon revealed that his mother was filming in the early part of 2022.