A Snapchat star and Playboy model died when a chiropractor allegedly ruptured her artery.
Katie May, 34, died in February, leaving millions of social media fans devastated, but the coroner’s office did not release her cause of death until October, and her father has now gone public to highlight what happened, said ABC 6.
TMZ says the coroner’s release clears up the mystery of how May died.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Katie Left Behind a Young Daughter, Mia
The post on the You Care site says, “Katie May, was beloved by many, but she loved one single person more than anyone: her daughter Mia.”
The post says that “Katie lived for her daughter, who was not only the most important and most fulfilling part of her life, but also her best friend. Katie’s daughter is a remarkable 7-year-old, and in many ways, she is like her mother: strong, smart, funny, with a sweet and kind soul willing to do anything to help a family member or friend in need.”
2. May Was a Social Media Star With Millions of Followers
According to People Magazine, May was known as the “Queen of Snapchat.”
The fundraising site for her daughter says, “Through passion, dedication, and a massive amount of hard work, Katie grew her Instagram and Snapchat presence exponentially. She was on the cusp of reaping the financial rewards—enough that she not only could support herself and her daughter, but also save and plan for their future. Unfortunately, Katie was taken from us all too soon at the young age of 34 and before she could share any of her hard work with her daughter.”
When she died, May’s family released a statement that read in part, “Known as ‘MsKatieMay’ on the Internet and the ‘Queen of Snapchat,’ she leaves behind millions of fans and followers, and a heartbroken family. We respectfully ask for privacy in this difficult time.”
3. The Coroner’s Office Says May Died When an Artery to Her Brain Ruptured
According to ABC 6, the coroner’s office “said the official cause of death was vertebral artery dissection, which is essentially the manipulation of the neck. It tore an artery leading to the brain.”
The television station said the California Board of the Chiropractic Examiners wouldn’t comment about whether it had received a complaint.
People Magazine wrote that May died from “neck manipulation by chiropractor” and quoted Los Angeles Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter as saying “a chiropractor shifted May’s neck, tearing her left vertebral artery.” The death was ruled an accident, says People.
Self Magazine said the injury was from “a tear of the inner lining of the vertebral artery, which is located in the neck and supplies blood to the brain.”
A doctor told Self Magazine “Vertebral artery dissection occurs as commonly as 1 in 100,000 people and usually is the result of direct trauma to the neck, in particular trauma causing rapid twisting of the neck.”
4. May Wrote That She Had Pinched a Nerve on a Photoshoot Before She Died
May tweeted on January 29 that she was in pain from a pinched nerve. May fell at a photo shoot, says TMZ.
On January 31, a fan asked Katie about her neck, and she responded that she was going to the chiropractor.
Katie suffered a stroke and died on February 4 after first being put on life support, said Self.
5. May’s Family Is Heartbroken Over Her Cause of Death
May’s sister, Jenny McKerrow, told CBS News: “I would have never in a million years have thought that I would lose my baby sister to something like this. You have a vibrant, healthy, single mom, who was at the brink of stardom, who lost her life. It’s heartbreaking.”
CBS said that chiropractic deaths are very rare and that deaths could occur as a result of an underlying condition.