Maya Kowalski was a 10-year-old American whose mother was accused of fabricating her illness and later committed suicide as a result of the way she and her daughter were treated by child welfare staff. The case exposes every single flaw in Western child protection systems.
The red flags include accusing difficult parents of mental illness, switching diagnoses whenever a condition was disproven, and even accusing the child of fabricating her symptoms after all else had failed.
In addition, there are huge profits to be made from an extended stay in a clinic with staff members who are not properly qualified.
The Netflix documentary Take Care of Maya detailed the terrible and true story of The Kowalskis.
When Maya Kowalski was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome (CPRS), the family and Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital engaged in a protracted legal dispute.
What happened to Maya Kowalski?
Maya Kowalski, who was nine then, was rushed to All Children’s for an asthma episode. A year later, the girl was taken back to the hospital with a stomach ailment.
Then, Dr. Sally Smith and the medical team asserted that Maya was a sufferer of Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a mental disease in which a caregiver makes up their child’s condition to seek sympathy.
Due to state officials removing the child from her family, Beata Kowalski, the girl’s mother, committed suicide.
Maya’s mother’s anxiety
Her mother, Beata Kowalski, a nurse by profession, looked into her daughter’s symptoms when she wailed unceasingly from the pain.
Maya was hospitalized in 2015 after experiencing excruciating CPRS pain. Her feet bowed inward from the discomfort, and her legs could no longer support the weight of her body. She also developed sores.
Her mother Beata’s requests for additional ketamine prescriptions, which frequently relieved her daughter with the discomfort before she was sent to All Children’s, were characterized by the doctors as “pushy.”
According to father, Jack Kowalski, “Maya relapsed; it came back, and it was very severe,” in the Netflix documentary.
She began complaining of stomach pain, which progressed to the point where she was wailing, sobbing, and pleading for assistance.
Dr. Sally Smith conducted an investigation
The medical head of the hospital’s child protection team, Dr. Sally Smith, launched an investigation because of the ketamine therapy to determine whether the family was abusing Maya.
She said that Beata had a Munchausen-by-proxy diagnosis and that her mother had abused Beata as a youngster.
For 90 days, the hospital forbade Maya’s family from seeing her there. The Kowalskis waged numerous legal battles while Maya was separated from her family.
Eventually, after her mother committed suicide, she was given back to her family.
In an email found after her passing, Beata apologized, saying, “I can no longer handle the misery of being apart from Maya and being treated like a criminal. I am unable to witness my daughter’s anguish as it worsens.
Where is Maya Kowalski now?
Although the courts mandated that her family no longer receive ketamine treatment, she still has CPRS. She took her first independent steps a year after leaving the hospital.
I still have pain, but it’s not as bad as it previously was, and I’m forever grateful for that, she told The Cut.
DailyMail reported on June 24, 2023, that Maya Kowalski’s family was suing Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital for $55 million in compensatory damages and $165 million in punitive damages.