Law enforcement throws birthday party for nine-year-old who fought to survive

Jarrod and his family surrounded by various members of Jefferson County law enforcement.

Nine years ago, the Underwood family welcomed Jarrod into the world. He was born two months early and weighed just under four pounds.

He spent nine of his first days on earth on life support. Doctors told his parents that if he survived, he would never walk or talk. Nine years and 64 surgeries later, Jarrod has graduated first grade and is about ready to move to the second grade.

"We never thought we would make it this far," Jarrod's mother Miranda said. "He was in the hospital the first 11 months of his life, and the thought of being here and celebrating, him running around, playing, setting goals for his future of being a police officer is just a miracle and magical for us."

For his ninth birthday, Jarrod wanted a police officer birthday party. His family contacted Joe Williams who is the District 16 Constable for Jefferson County. His parents were hoping to get one car to come out to the party and make a brief appearance, but Williams and the law enforcement community rallied together and had the whole cavalry come out.

Members of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Constable's Office, Gardendale Police Department and Jefferson County District Attorney Mike Anderton came out to throw Jarrod a birthday party at the Gardendale Splash Pad.

"It warms my heart that we're able to do things like this for him," Constable Joe Williams said. "I can only imagine how hard and difficult it is for his family and what they have been through, and not just what they have been through but what he has been through going through those surgeries."

Underwood and friends played in the water, celebrated with presents and a police car shaped cake. For Jarrod, the biggest thrill when he got to ride in several law enforcement vehicles that were at the party.

"When you find out that a young man wants to be a police officer in this day and time, and it is his dream to be a police officer and be around police, you do anything you can," District Attorney Mike Anderton said.

When his mother asked him if this was the best birthday ever, Jarrod simply replied, "Yes, ma'am."

If this was his ninth birthday, it begs the question of what will happen for his tenth birthday?

"Who knows what happens in the future?" Williams said. "Next time, we may have to swear him in as a deputy and take him on patrol."

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