Take Care of Maya: What Happened to Beata Kowalski?

Maya Kowalski in Take Care of Maya
Credit: Netflix

Maya Kowalski in Take Care of Maya
Credit: Netflix

Netflix's newest docuseries, entitled Take Care of Maya, has raised a lot of eyebrows as viewers were left in shock over the case of Maya Kowalski.

In this article, we'll answer one of the internet's pressing questions: Take Care of Maya: What happened to Beata Kowalski, the mother of Maya.

Who Is Maya Kowalski From Take Care of Maya?

Beata Kowalski, Maya Kowalski, Jack Kowalski in Take Care of Maya
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Credit: Netflix

The docuseries follows the life of a family after their sick daughter was taken away from them.

In 2015, Maya was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CPRS), a rare condition that causes several symptoms. Some of the symptoms that patients experience include severe cramping, lesions, and headaches.

After getting the diagnosis, the Kowalskis learned to deal with Maya's condition, which started when she was nine years old.

Thankfully, Maya's mother, Beata, was a registered nurse. She devoted herself to taking care of her daughter and helping alleviate the symptoms.

As time passed, however, it seemed like Maya's condition only got more complicated.

Who Was Beata Kowalski?

Kowalski family in Take Care of Maya
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Credit: Netflix

Before she became known as Maya's mother, Beata was a Polish immigrant who came to the US and worked her way through nursing school.  She left Poland when she was still a teenager.

Her hard work paid off eventually as she qualified as a registered nurse. She then met her now husband, Jack Kowalski, whom she shares a daughter (Maya) and a son with.

They decided to live in Venice, Los Angeles.

In 2015, Maya started to experience respiratory problems, body aches, lesions, headaches, lethargy, walking difficulties, and blurred vision, the family took her to get checked by doctors.

Their initial consultations did not get any answers. But since Beata was determined to find what was causing her daughter's pain, she did not stop.

Dr. Anthony Kirkpatrick in Take Care of Maya
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Credit: Netflix

One day, Beata sought the help of anesthesiologist Dr. Anthony Kirkpatrick, who was an expert in CPRS. He also knew how to treat her: by giving her a daily dose of ketamine.

But as seen in the docuseries, everything changed when they had to bring Maya to the hospital again in 2016 due to a relapse of her symptoms.

What Did the Doctors Discover?

Maya Kowalski, Beata Kowalski, Jack Kowalski, Dr. Anthony Kirkpatrick in Take Care of Maya
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Credit: Netflix | Movies And Munchies

Beata and Jack brought their daughter to John Hopkins All Children's Hospital to get treated.

When they got there, the doctors were shocked at the high amount of ketamine in Maya's system. Doctors even referred to Maya as "the ketamine girl" in their private text messages.

The doctors assigned to Maya wanted her ketamine treatment to be stopped. But Beata insisted that they keep treating her with the drug.

This, together with Beata's pushy behavior, led the doctors to suspect she had "mental issues." The doctors brought in a social worker who confirmed their suspicions.

The pediatrician who handled the case, Sally Smith, diagnosed Beata with Munchausen by Proxy. It turns out that Beata had been making Maya intentionally sick.

This caused Maya to be taken into state custody. She was allowed virtually no contact with her parents.

What Happened to Beata Kowalski?

Beata Kowalski, Maya Kowalski in Take Care of Maya
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Credit: Netflix | Movies And Munchies

As doctors revealed, they suspected Beata was showing signs of a psychological condition called Munchausen by Proxy. This caused her to impose disease symptoms on someone else to make them seem ill.

The separation from her daughter seemed to be too much for Beata, which caused her to commit suicide.

Netflix's Take Care of Maya docuseries released footage and audio regarding the decisions that Beata and Jack made about their daughter.

Jack Kowalski in Take Care of Maya
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Credit: Netflix

The show also sheds light into the heartbreaking moment when the child protective agency tells Jack that Maya will now be under the custody of the state.

The investigation into the case was never completed, since Beata took her own life. But before her death, she was believed to be worsening her daughter's illness and over-medicating her.

Three months after Maya was taken away from her parents, Beata committed suicide in their garage. She died in January 2017.

In her suicide email, Beata wrote:

"Please take care of Maya and tell her how much I love her every day. I'm sorry but I no longer can take the pain being away from Maya and being treated like a criminal. I cannot watch my daughter suffer in pain and keep getting worse."

What Is the Status of the Lawsuit?

Kowalski family in court in Take Care of Maya
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Credit: Netflix

As revealed by director Henry Roosevelt to Vanity Fair, this is "a nationwide pattern, where families are accused of child abuse and [are] preaching their innocence."

Beata's death pushed the state to release and return Maya to her father's custody. They have since filed a lawsuit against the hospital for allegations of child abuse, which led to the death of Beata.

Producer and journalist Caroline Keating said:

“At a certain point, you have to stop filming. But this is their truth, that the trial hasn't happened yet. And we think that's important to show that they are still fighting.”

The trial is slated to begin in September 2023.

You can watch the trailer here:

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