34 year old model, Katie May, who has been featured in Playboy, GQ and Esquire, died in February but it has taken 8 months to find out the official cause.
Before her death, May shared with her Twitter followers that she had pinched a nerve in her neck at a photoshoot and was going to visit a chiropractor. Hours after her appointment with the doctor, Katie May became ill and was taken to the emergency room. The following day she was pronounced brain dead and was taken off life support.
According to the L.A. County Coroner’s office, May’s death was caused by“vertebral artery dissection” – a tear in one of the major arteries that carries blood to the brain. The autopsy says Katie May’s cause of death was “neck manipulation by chiropractor.”
“She had some clotting and went to the hospital where they tried to do some procedures but she passed away,”Los Angeles Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter told PEOPLE . “I personally have not seen this before.”
Though it’s rare for something like this to happen, a neurosurgeon tells CBS News the best way to avoid the risk altogether is to refuse adjustments that involve rapid twisting of the neck.
Katie May was the youngest of four children and a mother of a young daughter herself.