With Netflix’s ‘Take Care of Maya’ delving deep into the harrowing tale of youngster Maya Kowalski and her entire family, we get a true insight into the dark side of our medical-legal system. After all, when her parents had rushed her into the ER in 2016 with symptoms related to her rare illness, they never could’ve imagined her mother would soon end up being accused of child abuse. We actually specify Beata Kowalski because her father Jack Kowalski wasn’t really deemed complicit in the matter — so now, if you just wish to learn more about him, we’ve got the details for you.
Who is Jack Kowalski?
It was seemingly back in the late 1990s/early 2000s when Jack came across Poland-turned-US native Beata Zurawski for the first time, only for them to soon fall utterly head over heels in love. “I started falling for her right away,” the former actually elucidated in the original production. “She had something special about her. It was in her eyes. She was genuine. She was magic, you know?” Thus, of course, once they eventually tied the knot and began seriously working toward building a future together, the registered nurse never shied away from the fact she wanted a baby with him.
Jack and Beata hence blissfully welcomed their daughter Maya into this world in 2006, followed by their son Kyle nearly two years later, making their family complete in every sense of the term. Yet the latter was the one to have initially ensured these innocent beings had the best of the best — whether it be piano lessons, Polish classes, or documenting their life, their mother did it all. Though this was ostensibly primarily because the former was a firefighter at the time and had to deal with a different set of responsibilities as Deputy Fire Chief at Elmhurst’s Broadview Fire Department.
However, since Jack understood the importance of family, he retired while both his kids were still young and made an active effort to spend a lot more time with them upon relocating to Venice, Florida. “We had a beautiful house, beautiful neighborhood,” he asserted in the Henry Roosevelt-directed documentary. “It was a dream come true. Paradise. But then Maya started to get sick [in 2015].” Thus began the mother-daughter duo’s endless visits to different doctors while he usually stayed at home to care for Kyle, especially as Beata had a much better understanding of the medical world.
Jack knew first-hand how dedicated Beata was to helping their daughter since he witnessed her record every conversation, make notes of doctors’ prescriptions, plus do extensive reach every night. Therefore, when the abuse accusations came to light in 2016 because she’d vehemently asked pediatricians at Johns Hopkins Hospital to administer a high dose of ketamine to their then-10-year-old Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) suffering daughter following a sudden flare-up since she knew it worked, he didn’t even question her. Nevertheless, it still created tension in their household due to the fact Maya was subsequently taken away from them to be placed into state custody.
The fact Jack was willing to cooperate to get Maya home as quickly as possible, whereas Beata was ready to fight in the hopes of first getting her daughter proper care created a bit of friction too. But alas, it was reportedly his acknowledgment he’d do everything in his power to keep Maya safe, including turn against his wife, that created the most distance between the married couple despite the fact they’d both already been advised regarding such legal tactics by their lawyer. Though they still obviously stayed together owing to the love they shared, that is, until January 8, 2017, when the mother of two hanged herself at home as a way to guarantee their little girl’s return home.
Where is Jack Kowalski Now?
Not only has Jack been traumatized from almost losing his daughter to CRPS while still being in fear of a possible relapse, but he also lost the love of his life as an indirect result of the same ailment. However, the sole aspect he blames is the system because while such rare neurological diseases can stick with anyone despite their low probability, the entire medical-legal industry made the situation much worse for their family. It hence comes as no surprise the Kowalskis have filed a lawsuit against All Children’s Hospital, Child Abuse Pediatrician Sally Smith, Social Worker Cathi Bedy, and a third-party firm for punitive damages on the grounds of causing them distress.
And from what we can tell, while Sally Smith as well as the third party have since settled their section of the case, Johns Hopkins plans on taking things to trial in September 2023. So, today, at 61, it appears as if the father of two is preparing for these upcoming court sessions with the help of his late wife’s notes, all the while keeping her memories alive in his heart. Moreover, he has seemingly taken on the role of a neighborhood handyman to keep himself busy and is doing his level best to be the best possible parent to both Maya and Kyle so as to ensure their happiness.