ATLANTA (CBS46) — Tim Kuhn said he and his family are still in shock from the loss of his 21-year-old son, who was super fit and healthy, and had never been admitted to a hospital until COVID struck.

“He just went downhill and kept getting sicker and sicker. It’s [COVID] definitely worse than I thought it was, and it’s more deadly than I thought it was.”

Kuhn said his son Shawn caught COVID-19 in December last year but only felt mild symptoms. He said he then got both his Pfizer vaccines in April and May. Then caught COVID again in August and was in and out of hospital until he passed this week.

“We never had any problems out of him, he was just the perfect son, and so yeah it still feels unfair that it had to happen to him."

He was a University of Georgia student studying sports science, a team leader at Chick-Fil-A, and a certified personal trainer.

“He was just a really kindhearted person with a big smile and he liked taking up for the underdog or the little guy,” Kuhn said.

His family said he did not have any underlying health problems and that doctors were just as mystified by his death.

“They were baffled, they ran every test they could think of,” Kuhn said.

Shawn’s passing is classified as a rare breakthrough death. There have only been 6,617 deaths recorded out of the more than 185 million people fully vaccinated.

"Vaccines are 95%, 95% is great. In medicine 95% success is fantastic. That means 5% the vaccines are not covering,” said Dr. Robin Dretler, an infectious disease specialist. "Well, 5% of 100 million is 5 million, 300 million people in this country. It very much makes me think he had something unbeknownst to him or his family." 

The family said Shawn's passing has shown them this disease is not to be taken lightly, by anyone.

“I didn’t feel like COVID was the main thing causing so many deaths but Shawn being as healthy as he was, and passing away from it, it’s definitely a monster not to be taken lightly,” Kuhn said.

Copyright 2021 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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