Take Care of Maya Illness: What Happened To Maya Kowalski?

Learn about Maya Kowalski and her condition, complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

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Maya illness: How to treat it

Take Care of Maya, the new Netflix documentary about the tragic story of Maya Kowalski – a 10-year old girl who suffered unexplained, severe pain – and her family’s search for treatment focuses on the tragic tale of Maya Kowalski. Maya’s parents, the Kowalskis faced many challenges while trying to diagnose and treat her condition. This led to accusations of child abuse.

Maya was misdiagnosed in 2016, with the suggestion that her symptoms could be caused by Munchausen syndrome by proxy. This is a condition where a caregiver feigns an illness history. Maya’s mom, Beata Kowalski was initially suspected by medical professionals of deliberately causing Maya’s illness.

Maya was then placed in a hospital under the jurisdiction and control of the State of Florida for three months. During this time, Maya was kept apart from her mother with only supervised visits allowed to her father. Tragically, Beata committed suicide soon after falsely accusing her of harming Maya. The documentary explores the emotional turmoil of the journey to reunite Maya and her father.

The film explores Maya’s misdiagnosis, the custody dispute and her pain. However, it leaves viewers curious about the underlying medical issue. You’ll find detailed information about her medical condition below.

Why was Maya Kowalski hospitalized?

Maya Kowalski, as described in the documentary is a woman who was diagnosed with complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), which is a rare chronic disease that causes burning and pain in the extremities. Maya’s symptoms included breathing problems, body pains, fatigue, headaches and blurred vision.

Maya was diagnosed with CRPS in 2015. A year later, she sought treatment for a flare up of symptoms at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, St. Petersburg, Florida. Her initial treatment consisted of an experimental “ketamine-induced coma”, which provided temporary relief.

Doctors at Johns Hopkins became concerned with the health care choices made by Maya’s parents. They suspected that Beata, Maya’s mother, might have fabricated her daughter’s condition. Maya was quickly separated from her parents after an investigation into possible abuse began.

What disease did Maya Kowalski suffer from?

Maya’s health problems were characterized by a variety of distressing symptoms. In addition to painful lesions and headaches, she also suffered from stomach pain and asthma attacks. Maya’s suffering was made worse by severe cramping of her feet. She could not walk.

Beata, Maya’s late mother, thought that Maya’s condition was Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, a medical condition which is still not fully understood. According to NHS, CRPS is characterized by persistent, severe and debilitating symptoms. Although it’s believed that CRPS is triggered by an accident, the pain and severity are far greater than what you would expect from such an injury. CRPS usually affects a single limb. However, it can sometimes extend to other parts of the body.

CRPS is characterized by the skin of the affected part becoming extremely sensitive. Even a slight bump or temperature change can cause intense pain. Affected areas can also show swelling, stiffness or fluctuating color or temperature.

According to the NHS, CRPS is often a condition that improves over time, but in some cases it can cause long-term pain.

Beata was accused by child protection investigators of “doctor-shopping” and of child medical abuse. The allegations included multiple medical treatments such as taking Maya abroad to Mexico for controversial ketamine therapy that is not available legally in the United States.

Maya underwent a five-day “ketamine coma”, aiming to reset the nervous system. Maya initially thought that the treatment was effective. She was sent back to hospital a year after her initial visit due to severe stomach pain. Beata was accused of Munchausen-by-proxy, which is a condition in which a caregiver fabricates or creates symptoms that make the child appear sick.

Maya, who is 17 years old, continues to live in Florida with her father Jack. She also lives there with her brother Kyle. She still suffers from severe pain in both her arms and her legs.

Where is Maya Kowalski now?

Maya, currently 17, lives in Venice, Florida with her father Jack and brother Kyle. According to PEOPLE, due to court orders, the Kowalskis were not allowed by law, or any other means, of obtaining ketamine treatment. As a result, Maya’s healing was slow and painful. Maya’s legs are now fully functional, despite the fact that it has been over a full year since she was discharged from All Children’s Hospital. She continues to suffer from CRPS (chronic Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy), a chronic disorder.

The Kowalskis have filed a lawsuit in their quest for justice. Their trial against Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital is scheduled for September 11,2023. The family had already reached a settlement agreement with Dr. Sally Smith who, by mistake, diagnosed Maya as having symptoms of Munchausen’s disease and was responsible for separating Maya from both her parents. The amount of the settlement reached with Dr. Sally Smith is $2.5 million

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