Maurice Shepperson was a fully vaccinated Southwest Airlines flight attendant, whose mother says died of COVID-19.
Shepperson’s mother confirmed the cause of death to the Las Vegas Review Journal.
His mother, Dawn Shepperson-Bernard, of Las Vegas, told the Review Journal: “It shows how quick life can change. How you can build a life for yourself and how quickly your life can just be taken away. Everything that you worked for, so hard, it can just basically be left in ruins. Your family left in ruins.”
Shepperson, 36, was known to loved ones as “Reggie.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. A GoFundMe Page Describes Shepperson as ‘One of the Kindest, Most Giving People’
Marcia Hildreth organized a GoFundMe page for Shepperson’s funeral expenses.
“Hi my name is Marcia! I am one of Reggie’s best friends. Reggie Shepperson passed away on August 10th from Covid-19,” her message reads.
“Reggie was a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines and he loved his job! 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. Now he needs you to help make his transition a bit easier on his mom, Dawn, whom he loved dearly. Everything he did, he did to make life easier for her. Please make a donation to help ease the financial burden of funeral expenses and other expenses associated with the passing of a loved one.”
A friend who donated wrote, “This was a good and kind man who loved his mother. He did everything right and its just not really fair. To his loved ones..you will see him again in a world more real than this one.” Wrote another, “This man and his mother are an inspiration and a reminder covid doesn’t pick and choose. Life is short and this pandemic is taking its toll.”
2. Shepperson Took His Mother to Hawaii in Late June
On Facebook, Shepperson, who went by the name Reggie there as well, wrote about a recent trip to Hawaii with his mother. “Took mommy on my work trip to Hawaii I’ll be back to get her tomorrow lol love this woman with all my heart,” he wrote.
His mother told the Review Journal that her son became ill with COVID-19 after that trip. By July he was in the hospital and he spent weeks on a ventilator, the newspaper reported. USA Today reported that he was diagnosed with the virus in July.
His most recent post on Facebook was from June 30 and read, “If R Kelly come home lol.” He wrote on Facebook that he lived in Las Vegas but was from Harlem. He wrote about taking care of his rose bushes: “My roses are blooming. Rose bushes have become a thing for me lol I take care of them like they’re my kids lol I started with 2 and I planted 5 more so hopefully they’ll grow just as great as these.”
3. Shepperson Worked for Southwest for Nine Years
Shepperson worked as a flight attendant for different airlines, since 2007, according to The Review Journal. In January, he wrote on Facebook, “Sometimes in life you have to try something different just to fall back in love with what’s true to you. I will retire a flight attendant and that’s real. It’s what I do it’s what I love.”
The newspaper reported that he had worked for Southwest for about nine years and for AirTran Airways before that.
“We are heartbroken over the loss; the Southwest Family is supporting each other, and our Employee’s family, during this difficult time,” the airline’s statement said, according to Fox News. “Out of respect for Reggie’s family, we do not have additional details to share.”
4. Shepperson Criticized the Medical System in Nevada
In June, before he contracted COVID-19, Shepperson wrote on Facebook, “Nevada is the only place I’ve lived where u Call to make doctors appointments and they give u 3-4 months out 🤦🏾♂️ people be dead by then smh.”
On June 9, he wrote, “Old Navy has Face Mask 5 for 1 Dollar. If you need em.” In April, he wrote, “Does Punta Cana require a covid test I’m reading 2 different things.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a “small percentage of fully vaccinated persons (i.e. received all recommended doses of an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine) will develop symptomatic or asymptomatic infections with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.” The CDC says the vaccines are considered safe and can prevent COVID-19. The CDC says “a total of 10,262 SARS-CoV-2 vaccine breakthrough infections had been reported from 46 U.S. states and territories as of April 30, 2021.” Of those, 160 died, but 18% of those were asymptomatic or died of other causes, and their median age was 82. As of the same date, 101 million persons in the United States had received the COVID-19 vaccines, which can reduce hospitalizations and death in those who get it.
“Even though FDA-authorized vaccines are highly effective, breakthrough cases are expected, especially before population immunity reaches sufficient levels to further decrease transmission. However, vaccine breakthrough infections occur in only a small fraction of all vaccinated persons and account for a small percentage of all COVID-19 cases,” CDC wrote. “The number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths that will be prevented among vaccinated persons will far exceed the number of vaccine breakthrough cases.”
5. Shepperson’s Mom Says He Took Precautions During the Pandemic
Shepperson’s mom says he took the pandemic seriously.
“It hurt me so bad because it was just so quick,” his mother told USA Today. “I didn’t have time to really even acknowledge what is going on.”
She said he wore masks, cleaned surfaces, and washed his hands, according to USA today.