Katie May, known as the “Queen of Snapchat” died of complications of a stroke. She was 34. May modeled extensively for Sports Illustrated and GQ, and she passed away after a catastrophic stroke days after a fall that allegedly tore her carotid artery.
According to People, Katie May suffered a stroke on Monday that led to her death. She is survived by a seven-year-old daughter, for whom a GoFundMe page has been started. Her brother, Stephen May, released a statement to the public
“It is with heavy hearts that we confirm the passing today of Katie May – mother, daughter, sister, friend, businesswoman, model and social media star – after suffering a catastrophic stroke caused by a blocked carotid artery on Monday,” the statement reads.
The Queen of Snapchat believed she had pinched a nerve in her neck prior to the stroke, but it seems that it was more complicated than that.
“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 this difficult time. Those wishing to contribute to the living trust being set up for the care of her young daughter may do so at her GoFundMe page.”
— CelebMix (@CelebMix) February 5, 2016
TMZ reported that Katie May shared most aspects of her life with her fans via social media. After the fall, May went to the hospital because she was in pain, but was released the same day.
“Pinched a nerve in my neck on a photoshoot and got adjusted this morning. It really hurts!”
But a medical source explained that it was far more complicated than that.
“Our sources say the operating theory is the 34-year-old model did not pinch a nerve, but instead tore the carotid artery in her neck. As we first reported, doctors told Katie’s family the tear caused a blood clot which broke off and caused her stroke on Monday. It’s called a carotid artery dissection.”
So tragic. Playboy model Katie May has died at 34 after suffering a "catastrophic" stroke: https://t.co/qfDJiVAiHe
— E! Online (@eonline) February 5, 2016
The Huffington Post says that Katie May parlayed her cheerleading and social media presence into a career.
“I grew up the youngest of four children, my parents were both teachers who worked multiple jobs to support our family. There was a real emphasis in my house on education, primarily the arts and history. We are a bit of an eccentric family I think.We are all very artistic and creative, and being from a small town in Pittsburgh that is definitely not the norm. However, of all of my siblings I felt a desire to be popular and fit in and, so I began cheerleading in the youth program. While still being an artist, I conformed to what the norm was, by my dedication to the sport. Our high school team was the National Champions and I went on to cheer in the Pro Bowl. I always felt that I was extremely different than my classmates. I did not have the same desires. My dreams and wishes for the future always took me far from Pittsburgh. It’s an amazing city but I wanted much more.”
May started her independent business while pregnant with her daughter, and was very active in managing her career.
“I started my own boutique lifestyle PR business with a partner, while pregnant, and we did quite well. I managed heartache and this life lesson while scrambling to pay rent and doctor bills. After she was born there were even more challenges as I have no family in L.A. and I was raising a child on my own. “
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) February 5, 2016
Katie May then became a highly recognized fixture on SnapChat, with her work being covered in many magazines.
Do you think it’s scary that a fall could cause a stroke in someone as young as Katie May?
[Photo by Vivien Killiea/Getty Images]