Maya Kowalski, the star of the Netflix documentary Take Care of Maya, made a tearful appearance in court when her attorney discussed the suicide of her mother, who was accused of Munchausen-by-proxy in a trial between the family and Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.
In the documentary, her father, Jack Kowalski, described the pain as “so severe, her knees were going up to her chest, and she was screaming.” Upon arriving at the hospital, Maya’s mother, Beata, was accused of child abuse. The staff were concerned that the symptoms appeared to have been faked or inflicted to make the child appear ill.
Child protective services were duly brought in, and Maya was separated from her parents for over three months while Beata underwent psychological evaluation. Beata was ultimately cleared of psychological illness but tragically took her own life 87 days after her daughter was taken out of her care.
During the court case, attorney Greg Anderson, who is working on behalf of the Kowalski family, detailed her suicide in graphic detail. “Beata was trying everything legal, social, every possible way to get her child out and her child was not coming out,” he said of Maya’s hospital stay.
He explained while Maya was in tears: “It took about 22 minutes according to pathologists to strangle to death, to kick the stand out from under her.”
Anderson revealed they will hear more evidence to support claims of the Kowalski’s attempts to allow Maya to leave hospital. “After that Jack says let my daughter go. If Beata is the big reason here, if she [has] Munchausen-by-proxy, why keep Maya [now that she’s dead],’ he stated before the court. It takes another week and a half and Maya is actually told in the hospital that her mom is dead,” he said.
After that, Howard Hunter, who was working on behalf of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, asked the jury to hold back making any judgements until they’d heard “all the evidence” from both sides.
“You’ll see doctors rotating as corporate representatives during the trial they’ve asked to do that for the purpose of being part of the effort to defend the hospital in this matter,” Hunter told the court.
This is a developing story.