A botched chiropractic manipulation is officially what led to the death of Playboy model Katie May on Feb. 4.
Los Angeles Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter cited “neck manipulation by [a] chiropractor” as the cause of May’s injury that led to a certain type of deadly stroke, reports KCBS.
The 34-year-old “Queen of Snapchat,” as Playboy called her in 2015, turned to chiropractic treatment after falling and injuring her neck during a photo shoot. As she explained on Twitter at the time: “Pinched a nerve in my neck on a Photoshoot and got adjusted this morning. It really hurts! Any home remedy suggestions loves? XOXO.”
Despite the coroner's ruling, Dr. Jeffrey Benton of the California Chiropractic Association says that complications from chiropractic treatment are extremely rare, and speculated that May might have had other underlying conditions, reports CBS News. “Chiropractic is very safe,” he said. “I do it to my little children. I do it to my mom, who’s almost 90 years old. I do it to all my patients. ... There’s more deaths to opioid medications than there are to chiropractic manipulations.”
May was a single mother, and a GoFundMe campaign has been launched to raise money for her 7-year-old daughter, Mia. As a message on the fundraising site explains, “Katie's family plans on using any money raised to help pay for education, Mia’s daily life and to help her dad with the costs of parenting.”
Since its inception in February, more than $30,000 has been raised.
The Ohio University graduate previously worked public relations jobs in the fashion and entertainment industries, before going into modeling. As she later noted, modeling turned out to be far more lucrative than any of her corporate jobs.
Thanks to her pictures in Playboy and Sports Illustrated, she has attained great popularity on social media, with a fanbase of almost 2 million followers on Instagram alone.