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2023 Jefferson Awards l A Davenport mother fights against crime

Anissa Quinn is pushing for safer streets after her son was shot five times and paralyzed from the neck down.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — A Quad City woman is taking the fight against crime into her own hands as one of her loved ones faces the toll of being a shooting victim.

Anissa Quinn, one of WQAD's 2023 Jefferson Awards nominees, is pushing for safer streets after her son was shot five times in 2017.

"Whole life just changed," Anissa said. "It's people killing people."

She now cares for her 31-year-old son Arthur Abbey as a full-time job because he is paralyzed from the neck down due to the incident.

"It's an every day, 24-hour, 365 days out of the year I have to sit here and take care of him," Anissa said.

Anissa has shown News 8 life now and she's now leading a call for change in the community.

"That was the most devastating news I've ever had," Anissa said. "That was the most hardest thing I've ever had to deal with."

She has hosted rallies and walks the past three years to raise awareness and plead to stop the violence.

"She's doing something about it," a Davenport homicide victim's father Arnoldo Herrera said.

Arnoldo's son is one of many Anissa makes shirts and displays on banners to remember those impacted.

"If we don't support what she's doing, we're never going to get anything done," Arnoldo said. 

Gary Thrapp, who mentors children and runs Beyond the Baseline recreation center, also knows the work Anissa is taking out of her own time for families. 

"She wants to help others, let's put the guns down," Gary said. "It's amazing to me that we'll never know how many people she's impacted."

The family gave News 8 a first-hand look at the efforts needed just to move Arthur from one place to another like everyone else. 

"I can't even explain," Arthur said. "I don't know where I would be if it wasn't for my mom."

"I tell everybody, 'You wouldn't understand it until you have to walk the walk," Anissa said. "I'm going to do this until I can't do it anymore."

Going forward, Arthur's family hopes to find a better house that fits his needs, including hardwood floors to accommodate a portable chair lift. He currently does not stay in his own room, as he's monitored in the home's living room with no privacy. Quinn said Arthur could also use a walk-in shower and a new bed, as the current one is uncomfortable due to Arthur's spine damage. Quinn said a service dog would assist in supporting care for Arthur, especially overnight.

The family has created a GoFundMe page for anyone who can help with providing any donation for Arthur's future and care, which you can find by clicking/tapping here.

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