Katie May, a Playboy model and social media influencer, has died after suffering a catastrophic stroke on Monday. She was 34-years-old.
May was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as the youngest of four children and moved to Los Angeles to forge a modelling career. She was reportedly hospitalised earlier this week after experiencing neck pain which doctors diagnosed as a blocked carotid artery.
A shrewd businesswoman who began working in public relations, May launched a successful modelling career after the PR company she was working for collapsed and she was living as a single mother in LA.
“We were just barely getting by,” she told The Huffington Post in January. “I worked hard to have a career that I was proud of and when the economy collapsed, our PR company closed.
“My life has been an incredible journey thus far with a lot of curve balls and lessons along the way. I would have to say the most valuable would have to be as a single mother.”
May modelled for lingerie collections and had a strong social media following, declaring herself the “official Queen of Snapchat” and amassing more than one million followers on Instagram. Her death was confirmed by her family on Thursday.
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“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,” May’s family told E! News in a statement.
A Go Fund Me page has been launched to raise money for May’s seven-year-old daughter.
A tribute on the page reads: “Anyone who was lucky enough to know Katie May was truly blessed by her incredible heart, mind and soul. She was an inspiration and a guiding light to so many people in this world. Please help us by donating money to support her daughter. We want to raise as much money for her daughter's living trust as possible to ensure she will always be taken care of. Her daughter was Katie's whole life, so please help Katie and her family by donating money.”
Almost $10,000 has been donated to the page so far.