Photo Credit: Marcia Hildreth
Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant Dies From COVID-19 Following Work Trip To Hawaii
A Southwest flight attendant has passed away from COVID-19, less than two months after he tested positive following a work trip to Hawaii.
Friends and family of Reginald “Reggie” Shepperson, 36, confirmed that he died on Aug, 10. Shepperson reportedly tested positive in July even though he was fully vaccinated.
According to his mother, Dawn, Hawaii was his regular route for work. She told USA Today that he was assigned to a trip in June and that was his last journey for Southwest before testing positive for COVID-19.
A spokesperson for Southwest confirmed with USA Today that an employee died, but did not release the details surrounding his death.
“We are heartbroken over the loss of our Southwest employee,” the spokesperson said in a statement to the paper. “Out of respect for the family, we do not have additional information to share.”
According to Shepperson’s mother, he drove himself to a Las Vegas hospital after saying that he couldn’t breathe. He spent one month in the hospital and eventually was put on a ventilator before succumbing to the virus.
“It hurt me so bad because it was just so quick,” his mother said. “I didn’t have time to really even acknowledge what was going on.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help his family raise money for the funeral costs. So far, it’s reached more than $21,000.
“Reggie was a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines, and he loved his job! His personality, wit, and humor were just a few characteristics that everyone adored,” Marcia Hildreth, a woman identifying herself as his best friend, said on the GoFundMe page. “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.”
Southwest is one of three airlines in the US that are not requiring employees to get vaccinated, as we reported. CEO Gary Kelly said the company will “continue to strongly encourage” that workers get vaccinated, but won’t require it.