‘Fully Vaxxinated’ Southwest Flight Attendant Maurice ‘Reggie’ Shepperson (36-year-old), Dies from BS-19 Nearly Two Months After Testing Positive Following Trip to Hawaii
By Melissa Koenig and Alyssa Guzman
A Southwest Airlines flight attendant has died from COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated, according to his mother and best friend.
Maurice ‘Reggie’ Shepperson, 36, died at Henderson Hospital in Las Vegas on Tuesday, nearly two months after he tested positive for the virus following a work trip to Hawaii.
He had reportedly checked himself into the hospital due to difficulty breathing on July 7, and was put on a ventilator weeks after testing positive.
Shepperson’s mother, Dawn, told USA Today her son was fully vaccinated, and his friend, Marcia Hildreth, another Southwest flight attendant, said he took every precaution against the virus including wearing a mask, constantly washing his hands, sanitizing surfaces and wiping everything down in hotel rooms.
He is among a very small fraction of Americans who have died after suffering ‘breakthrough’ coronavirus infections after vaccination.
Fully vaccinated Southwest Airlines flight attendant Maurice ‘Reggie’ Shepperson, 36, (pictured) died from COVID-19 on Tuesday at a hospital in Las Vegas – nearly two months after he tested positive following a work trip to Hawaii
Shepperson had checked into the hospital on July 7, weeks after testing positive following his trip to Hawaii in early June
Shepperson had been a flight attendant since 2007 and has worked for Southwest for nine years.
Dubbed ‘high flyer’ by his co-workers, Shepperson was known to pick up more work trips than any other flight attendant, both for the money and the ability to travel to new places.
A flight attendant from his training class Kiki Lee told USA Today: ‘He was hitting the skies right way, using his benefits. He loved working, and he loved the perks.’
One of Shepperson’s first trips was to China, shortly after graduating from flight school.
The flight attendant, who was fully vaccinated, came down with the virus after returning home and drove himself to Henderson Hospital in Las Vegas on July 7
He took his mother Dawn on one of his last work trips to Hawaii before contracting the virus.
Both were repeatedly tested before leaving for the sunny island.
He wrote in a Facebook post from the trip: ‘Took mommy on my work trip to Hawaii I’ll be back to get her tomorrow lol love this woman with all my heart.’
Her son fell ill after returning home and immediately began to quarantine.
On June 17, he posted on Facebook: ‘Nevada is the only place I’ve lived where you call to make doctor’s appointments and they give you three to four months out. People b e dead by then smh.’
He would later test positive for COVID-19. His mother did not contract the virus.
Dawn, who left food on her son’s doorstep, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that her son was in a lot of pain and couldn’t get up.
On July 7, Shepperson drove himself to the emergency room with breathing problems.
He would spend the following weeks in the hospital on a ventilator before passing away from the virus.
Southwest spokesman Brandy King confirmed Shepperon’s death, but the company declined to say anything further in respect to the family.
Dawn said Southwest Airlines reached out to her after the death of her son, as well as to his best friend and fellow flight attendant Marcia Hildreth to fly her to Vegas from a work trip.
Hildreth has also started a GoFundMe page to help cover the cost of funeral expenses. It has raised $9,386 so far.
Clark County currently has over 11,000 COVID-19 cases and over 300,000 cases in the state.
Although COVID-19 vaccines do not offer 100 percent protection from the virus, they are still highly effective. There are breakout cases with the Delta variant, however, the fully vaccinated are less likely to get severely ill or die from the virus, according to the CDC.