Playboy model Katie May, 34, died from a catastrophic stroke after a second visit to her chiropractor following a fall during a photo shoot. After the fall, on Jan. 29, May tweeted “Pinched a nerve in my neck on a Photoshoot and got adjusted this morning.” She went back to her chiropractor for a second visit, but that did not alleviate the pain in her neck, according to the New York Daily News. She was taken off life support on Thursday evening and passed away, with her family and loved ones around her.
Katie May, who was a successful model and had a huge social media presence, was known as the “Queen of Snapchat.” She was so popular with her fans, that she had almost 2 million Instagram followers. Besides having appeared in Playboy, Katie May also graced the pages of Sports Illustrated and other magazines and websites, according to TMZ. She was also an NFL cheerleader who performed during the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl.
May had been hospitalized since Monday. A blockage in her carotid artery led to her having a stroke. She apparently brushed off the pain in her neck and went to visit her chiropractor twice instead of going to a doctor to find out what was causing the pain.
People mentioned that Katie May’s brother, Stephen May, stated about his sister’s tragic passing, “To the best of my family’s knowledge, and we are fairly but not totally certain of this, Katie did not seek medical care prior to Monday evening; if she had, it seems reasonable to conclude, the subsequent days would have unfolded very differently.”
Stephen May said that Katie had told the family about the pain in her neck, but they did not know what the cause of the pain was. He added, “We only knew that she was feeling discomfort.” He said, “Katie was a star in every sense of the word and I’ll never stop missing her.”
One of Katie May’s friends, Christina Passanisi, who had known her for over five years, said that May “was almost like a phenomenon. She was just capable of juggling so many things and doing it effortlessly. She really was just a unique and special individual,” according to the New York Daily News.
Passanisi put the blame, at least in part, on May’s having gone to visit her chiropractor rather than a doctor. She stated, “She really didn’t need to have her neck adjusted, and it killed her. And the scary thing is that the nurse told me it happens all the time.”
On the way to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Monday, according to her friends, Katie May, who was the single mother of a seven-year-old daughter, Mia, could barely move. While in the waiting room, May began vomiting. She suffered one stroke, and as she was attempting to recover from it overnight, May experienced another, catastrophic stroke. She was declared brain dead on Tuesday afternoon, but was kept alive on life support.
May’s family reportedly told TMZ that “the spill may have torn her carotid artery, which is what doctors said caused her catastrophic stroke.” Her family has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for the costs of Mia’s education.
The New York Daily News mentioned that both the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association, in research published in 2014, “found a relationship between chiropractic manipulation of the neck and a type of arterial tear that can lead to strokes.” A “relationship” is not the same thing as saying it was a “cause-and-effect,” but both of the associations said providers of chiropractic services “should inform patients before any treatments.”
Former Playboy model Katie May tragically died after she paid a second visit to her chiropractor to receive treatment for a pain she felt in her neck following a fall during a photo shoot. Her carotid artery was possibly blocked, according to an early report by TMZ, though the artery might have gotten torn or injured further by her two visits to her chiropractor. By the time that May was taken to the hospital to receive medical treatment on Monday, her condition had worsened. After suffering two strokes and being declared brain dead, she was taken off of life support on Thursday and she passed away.
UPDATE – October 19, 2016: The autopsy report has been released. Read our followup article at the following link to learn Katie May’s cause of death.
By John Samuels
Photo Courtesy Instagram