MOUNT CARMEL, Tenn. (WJHL) — Just over a month after Quinnlee Mae’s death at 12 and half months, Scott and Diamond Shriner say their daughter and the state law passed in her honor are already making an impact.
“Now, you Google ‘Quinnlee,’ and it’s like the whole first page,” Diamond told News Channel 11. “It’s pretty surreal that you know, her name is attached to it. But that just, we always said that she would write her own story.”
Quinnlee was diagnosed with the rare genetic disorder spinal muscular atrophy with respiratory distress (SMARD) in October 2022. Though her condition stabilized during treatment at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, state regulations prevented her discharge from the hospital.
Scott and Diamond’s experience fighting state regulation to bring their daughter home inspired them to work with local lawmakers to change state rules that required providers of at-home medical equipment to maintain an office in Tennessee in order to sell their products. The bill has passed both houses and is awaiting a signature from Gov. Bill Lee.
“We were both ecstatic to that it passed,” Diamond said. “We’ve heard from people that we know in Nashville that it’s already helping.”
The Shriners are still grieving the loss of their daughter last month, but Scott said he can still feel her presence.
“Even her not being here in a physical sense, when the sun shines a little bit brighter, the wind blows a little bit harder I feel like, it’s just her being like, ‘Hey, just to let you know, I’m here. I’m okay,'” Scott said.
The Shriners haven’t stopped working for change. They said they’re working on pushing for more adaptive equipment at local playgrounds.