Liz Whittemore of Reel News Daily explains why we need to TAKE CARE OF MAYA
In 2016 in Venice, Florida, Beata and Jack Kowalski began the fight of their lives. Diagnosed with a rare condition in 2015, Maya Kowalski was in constant pain, barely able to walk, and deteriorating by the day. After intense treatment in Mexico, Nata improved for a year. During a 2016 relapse, following a 10-minute interview with a child abuse doctor who never introduced herself as such, Beata and Jack are told to leave Maya’s side. The allegation is Medical Child Abuse or Munchausen syndrome by proxy.
The film consists of photographs, reenactments, an unprecedented amount of audio and video from Beata’s phone, and video testimony from Maya, Jack, and Kyle as they move through tragedy. You’re constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. To discover that Beata was somehow responsible for her daughter’s pain. That never comes. The system ignored the parents it broke their family. Seeing texts between complicit medical personnel will destroy your faith in humanity. As a mother, this film crushed my heart.
Enter reporter Daphne Chen in 2019 and an expose on the case. The final third of the film takes on a different narrative. Chen’s article spurs the discovery of more and more families who called 911 only to have Dr. Sally Smith and Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital take their children away. Beata’s diligent documentation makes a lawsuit possible. The moral corruption of the courts is reprehensible. The bravery and willpower of the Kowalskis are a torch of justice for so many families across the country. Their voices must be heard and Tribeca 2023 audiences will be the first to listen.\
More of Liz's writing can be found at her regular home REEL NEWS DAILY