Furious Netflix viewers calling Take Care of Maya doc the most ‘gut wrenching’ thing they’ve ever seen
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Harrowing new documentary Take Care of Maya is being dubbed one of the 'most gut-wrenching' things people have seen.
If there's something wrong with your child, you would naturally take them to the GP or, in worse cases, the hospital. But for one family, their choice to take their daughter to the hospital had harrowing consequences.
From early childhood, Jack and Beata Kowalski's daughter Maya began suffering from chronic pain.
Her feet began to turn inward, her skin felt like it was on fire and she was constantly crying out in agony.
Jack and Beata were desperate for answers as their daughter's health appeared to deteriorate, and after seeing a number of professionals throughout 2015, one doctor gave the diagnosis of CRPS (Complex regional pain syndrome).
The doctor prescribed high doses of ketamine for Maya, but when that failed to work the family travelled to Mexico so she could be put in a 'ketamine coma'.
Things seemed to be looking up as the little girl gained mobility back in her arms and her legs began to straighten. But a year later, she relapsed.
Desperate once more, her parents rushed her to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, but things took a nightmarish turn when mum Beata - a registered nurse - was accused of medical child abuse.
Maya, then 10, was ultimately taken into state custody, with Beata being prevented from seeing her.
Beata was accused of having Munchausen by proxy, a mental illness and form of child abuse where a parent makes up fake symptoms or causes real symptoms to make it look like the child is sick.
A psychological evaluation established she did not have the illness, but still, she was not allowed to see her daughter.
Growing increasingly hopeless, three months after Maya was taken off her, Beata took her own life.
The official synopsis for the doc reads: "In 2016, Jack and Beata Kowalski took their daughter, Maya, to a hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The 10-year-old was admitted to the ER with a severe stomach ache. Instead of a quick hospital stay, Maya was taken from her parents and kept there.
“The tragedy that unfolded next is the subject of the investigative documentary Take Care of Maya, a troubling exploration of how a fractured healthcare industry tore a family apart.”
Told through various audio recordings Beata herself documented, depositions and interviews with the Kowalski family, the documentary has had a profound impact on viewers, with some describing it as 'gut wrenching', 'extremely powerful' and leaving them 'absolutely destroyed.'
"Just finished watching Take Care of Maya on Netflix and I’m emotionally exhausted. Had to be one of the most gut-wrenching documentaries I’ve ever seen," wrote one viewer.
"Shame on the hospital, court system and all those that stood by complicit while this injustice was happening."
"I have never in my life had to stop a documentary so many times, just to compose myself and wipe the tears away. How is this happening in a 'first world country'? Take care of Maya just destroyed me, I am shook to my core. I hope they televise the trial globally in September," said another.
Take Care of Maya is available to watch on Netflix now.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123