Southwest flight attendant, 36, dies after battle with COVID-19

A fundraiser to cover the funeral expenses of Reggie Shepperson has already far surpassed its $10,000 goal.

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A Southwest Airlines flight attendant who was fully vaccinated died after contracting COVID-19. 

Maurice “Reggie” Shepperson, 36, who was based in Las Vegas, tested positive for the virus in July and died last Tuesday after being treated in an area hospital for over a month. 

A fundraising effort to cover the funeral expenses of Reggie Shepperson (above) has been organized by one of his dear friends and colleagues at Southwest Airlines. (GoFundMe.com)

His mother, Dawn Shepperson-Bernard, said that he was fully vaccinated and took every precaution to protect himself against the virus. She noted that while he was still working for Southwest, he frequently sanitized surfaces and even wiped down everything in his hotel rooms.

The two had reportedly traveled to Hawaii in June and repeatedly received negative coronavirus test results. Shepperson, however, got sick when they returned. He then quarantined, then tested positive.

“It hurt me so bad because it was just so quick,” Shepperson-Bernard told USA Today“I didn’t have time to really even acknowledge what is going on. This is mind-blowing. It’s not real. It’s not real. It’s not real.”

The grieving mother said airlines officials reached out to her.

“We are heartbroken over the loss of our Southwest employee,” they offered in a statement. “Out of respect for the family, we do not have additional information to share.” 

While major airlines have not confirmed the number of coronavirus cases among their employees, The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA — which represents flight attendants at United, Frontier, Spirit and Hawaiian Airlines, among others — estimated that 4,000 flight attendants across all airlines in the nation have contracted it, and 20 have died, according to USA Today. 

As reported on Tuesday, a fully vaccinated entrepreneur from New Orleans died last month from COVID-19. Her mother said Angelle Mosley’s weight was a factor in her daughter’s severe illness and eventual death. 

Shepperson-Bernard has not confirmed if her son had underlying medical conditions. 

“It’s very important for every single person who’s been vaccinated to know if you have other medical conditions, the vaccine doesn’t protect from those becoming an issue or causing a problem,” Dr. David Agus told CBS News. “While the vaccines may give you some protection, it’s not enough to overcome the medical issues or the lack of a very strong immune system, unfortunately.”

A GoFundMe to cover Shepperson’s funeral expenses has been organized by Marcia Hildreth, one of his dear friends and colleagues, who wrote that her co-worker’s “personality, wit and humor were just a few characteristic that everyone adored. He was one of the kindest most giving people I’ve ever known. If you needed him, he’d be there with no questions asked. Now he needs you to help make his transition a bit easier on his mom, Dawn, whom he loved dearly.”

The effort’s target goal was $10,000 and had reached over $22,000 at press time.

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