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Homechildrens health'Take Care of Maya': Alleged medical abuse case that broke family apart...

‘Take Care of Maya’: Alleged medical abuse case that broke family apart heads to trial

This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Jury selection begins Thursday for the alleged medical abuse case that broke a Florida family apart and inspired the Netflix documentary “Take Care of Maya.”

In 2016, at just 10 years old, Maya Kowalski — the girl at the center of the Netflix documentary — was admitted to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital (JHAC) in St. Petersburg, Florida, for severe pain and then promptly removed from the custody of her parents after staff accused them of “medical abuse.”

Her mother, Beata Kowalski, hung herself in her garage on Jan. 7, 2016, “to free her daughter” after going months without seeing her due to the medical abuse allegations, according to the family’s attorney, Greg Anderson.

“It’s been extremely difficult on the Kowalskis after [what] they went through and … it’s disappointing, the level of litigation they have to go through to get their right to speak in court,” Anderson told Fox News Digital ahead of jury selection. “It’s been overwhelming for my law firm, my other clients and my family.”

Nearly five years after the Kowalskis’ civil lawsuit was filed and seven years since Maya was initially admitted to JHAC, both sides will get to speak their piece in court.

“I’m also very cognizant of what a lot of families have gone through,” Anderson said of other child medical abuse cases similar to Maya’s. “The horror stories I’ve heard over the last four years … they’re so heartbreaking.”

Editor’s note: This article previously stated that an investigation found Beata filled out fraudulent prescriptions for her daughter, but the Kowalskis’ legal counsel said the medicine was doctor-prescribed, and JHAC has withdrawn the allegation.

Audrey Conklin is a digital reporter for Fox News Digital and FOX Business. Email tips to or on Twitter at @audpants.


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