Who was Maurice Shepperson? Fully vaxxed flight attendant, 36, dies from breakthrough Covid-19
Nearly two months after testing positive for Covid-19 after a business trip to Hawaii, fully vaccinated Southwest Airlines flight attendant Maurice Shepperson died on Tuesday, August 10 at Henderson Hospital after being on a ventilator for weeks, news outlets revealed on August 14.
It might feel like the end of the Covid-19 epidemic is near, whether you've been partially or fully vaccinated. However, as emails from Dr. Anthony Fauci showed, there's a chance that 'enhanced' variations will emerge evidenced by the surge in Delta Plus variant Covid cases right now.
When you add in anti-vaxxers like Virginia Brown, it appears that eradicating Covid-19 will be difficult. In fact, Dr Larry Brilliant, who helped eradicate smallpox told The Daily Beast that Covid-19 is most likely here for good. That means, even if you are fully vaccinated, it is worth taking some precautions. Shepperson's death is witness to this fact. Here's what's to know.
Who was Maurice Shepperson?
Maurice 'Reggie' Shepperson was based in Las Vegas, according to the Daily Mail. The 36-year-old, as per his LinkedIn profile, graduated with a Bachelor's degree in international business from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas in 2021. He also studied international business at Georgia Gwinnett college from where he graduated in 2009.
Shepperson had worked for Southwest for nine years and had been a flight attendant since 2007. He was known among his coworkers as a "high flyer," since he was known to take on more business trips than any other flight attendant, both for the money and the opportunity to visit new locations. "He was hitting the skies right way, using his benefits. He loved working, and he loved the perks," Kiki Lee, a flight attendant from his training class, told USA Today. Shepperson traveled to China immediately after graduating from flight school on one of his first missions.
Shepperson was admitted to the hospital on July 7, weeks after testing positive Covid-19 during a trip to Hawaii in June. His mother stated her son had gotten completely vaccinated, worn a mask, washed his hands often and sanitized surfaces to protect himself from the infection. He is one of a relatively limited number of people in the United States who have died as a result of 'breakthrough' coronavirus infections following immunization.
Before getting the illness, he accompanied his mother Dawn on one of his last work visits to Hawaii. Both were thoroughly tested before they went. Dawn told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that her son was in a lot of pain and couldn't get up after she put food in his doorway. Shepperson drove himself to the emergency hospital on July 7 because he was having respiratory issues. He spent the next few weeks in the hospital on a ventilator before he lost his life.
"It hurt me so bad because it was just so quick," Dawn Shepperson said to 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." Dawn said Reggie made her proud every time she walked through a Southwest terminal at an airport. His father had died when Reggie was 14-months-old. “People that I don't even know, once they find out I'm Reggie's mother said, ‘Ma’am, you did a beautiful job. This is a fine young man,’” she said. "As a mother, I feel so blessed and proud because that's all I wanted in life was to raise my son right."
Marcia Hildreth, a Southwest flight attendant who called Shepperson her best friend, said "I'm going to miss my friend." On behalf of Shepperson's mother, Hildreth created a GoFundMe campaign on Friday, August 13, to gather money for funeral expenses. In the description for the campaign, Hildreth described her late colleague in glowing words, saying: "His 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." So far, the campaign has raised $10,899 of its $10,000 goal.