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Netflix documentary "Take Care of Maya" brings to light mistaken child abuse allegations

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Posted at 6:48 PM, Jul 11, 2023

"Take Care of Maya" on Netflix has been viewed by more than 10 million people, and was trending in the top 10 for a couple weeks.

Producer Caitlin Keating says the idea for the documentary came together while she was a journalist for People.

"Take Care of Maya is a very emotional, complicated story about a young girl, Maya Kowalski, who had a rare disease," Keating said. "She was diagnosed when she was 10 years old and one night went into the hospital with excruciating pain. Within hours, her mother was accused of medical child abuse."

Mother and author, Lorina Troy, is one of the parents featured at the end of the documentary to show how many people are going through similar situations.

"We understand that child abuse happens and we're strongly against anyone being abused in any way," Troy said. "But also on the flip side, doctors and Child Protective Services are also misdiagnosing children with abuse, and it's happening to thousands of families across our nation."

Eight years ago, Troy's children were taken away by CPS because a pediatric neurosurgeon found fluid inside the head of her second-born son, JJ. She says they assumed it was due to shaken baby syndrome.

It took five months and $80,000 dollars in attorney fees for Troy and her husband to get their kids back, and two more years before their son was properly diagnosed with benign external hydrocephalus. It's a rare condition where spinal fluid can build outside the brain.

Ever since, Troy as been meeting with senators and state representatives to fight for legislation. Her efforts paid off in Texas.

 "We were able to get a law passed that will allow second opinion for parents before an emotional traumatic wrongful removal," Troy said. "And hopefully that could be a federal law someday."

Both women say they hope this film will inspire a huge conversation that sparks change and protects children. Troy says if you've gone through something similar, you too, should reach out to senators and state representatives.

"Child abuse should be taken so seriously," Keating said. "There's nothing that we want more than to protect children, but a lot of these cases are not so black and white. A lot of these parents went into the hospital looking for help and some of them walked out in handcuffs."