8-year-old boy with cerebral palsy gets the surprise of his life when two cops crash his birthday

(Brad Reseigh)

This story originally appeared on Babble and is reprinted with permission.

There was only one thing 8-year-old Tyler Reseigh wanted for his birthday on July 30th: a real-life police officer. And thanks to the kindness of some hard-working Michigan State Troopers, Tyler got his wish.

"I asked him what he wanted for his birthday, so he thought about it for a while and then he says, 'Dad, I want a cop for my birthday,'" explains Tyler's father, Brad Reseigh, 30, a tow truck operator and volunteer firefighter from Mt. Morris Township in Michigan. "I told him he couldn't have a cop for his birthday, so we compromised by telling him we would try to get a cop to hang out with him on his birthday."

Image source: Brad Reseigh

Tyler, who was born at 26 weeks old, weighing only 1 lbs., 13 oz., was not expected to live past 48 hours. His mother, Emily Crossnoe, 29, a stay-at-home parent, was rushed to the hospital for an emergency C-section after she went into labor as a result of an incompetent cervix while the family was enjoying a cookout at the local fire department.

"We had no idea," says Reseigh. "Throughout the pregnancy, until he was born, everything seemed to be on point, everything was fine. We were talking and Emily just bent over in excruciating pain."

As a result of his early birth, Tyler faced enormous obstacles immediately and spent over six months in NICU units. "We didn't get to hold him until he was almost 3 months old," Reseigh remembers. But Tyler, he says, is a "fighter." He fought through medical complications, including procedures to place a brain shunt, countless surgeries, and an eventual diagnosis of cerebral palsy.

"Obviously he made it past 48 hours," says Reseigh. "But every day has been a battle for him. He's not fully functioning and he has a hard time walking, so he has a walker. They said he would never walk, but he does. It's rough because we have a small home, so every day challenges like that kind of slow him down, but we're doing it. He's amazing to the doctors - every time they see him, he's progressing."

Reseigh explains that Tyler's fascination with police officers started a few years ago and that the bubbly and energetic little boy loves seeing them, often waving to them from the windows of their family car (which are tinted to protect Tyler from the sun, as overheating can induce febrile seizures).

"Anytime we see a cop, he goes crazy," Reseigh laughs. "They can't see him, but he thinks they can."

Image source: Brad Reseigh

But for his boy's birthday, Reseigh was determined that the police officers see his son in the same way his family does -- as the loving, bubbly, energetic little boy with a million questions who never fails to put a smile on the face of everyone around him.

"Tyler wakes up every day just thankful to be alive," Reseigh notes. "No matter what kind of day you've had, Tyler will put you in a good mood because he's just smiling. He values people for who they are and that's what makes Tyler special."

After reaching out to some local police officers, Reseigh was able to talk to a Michigan State Trooper who promised he would be there if he could. Knowing how busy his job in the city of Flint keeps him, however, Reseigh didn't tell his son and instead, focused on enjoying his son's birthday party with family and friends. The family was gathered inside (to keep Tyler out of the heat) when suddenly cop lights started flashing on the wall.

Image source: Brad Reseigh

"Tyler just let out this loud noise," Reseigh laughs. "The loudest yell in joy. He was so happy. He has a walker, but he will sometimes scoot around the house because it's easier, and when they got there, he forgot all about that walker and just scooted right out the door."

After Reseigh picked his son up and carried him over to the police officers, Tyler made himself comfortable in the police car, buckling right up and announcing it was time to get some bad guys. "He was in his glory," Reseigh says with a laugh. "He got to work the siren, which was a bad idea. He got the neighbors looking."

Michigan State Trooper Easlick, who was one of the police officers who crashed Tyler's birthday along with his partner, Trooper Hutchinson, explained that they were glad that they were able to make time to visit Tyler that day. "I had put it in my calendar with a reminder go off for it," Easlick explains. "But I couldn't commit to it because you never know what's going on, especially in Flint. We care about the communities that we serve and we're there to help and make lives better, not just catch bad guys. It made it extra important that he had special needs and that it really would be something that would make it very special for him."

Image source: Brad Reseigh

Reseigh and Emily, who are also parents to sons Travis, 11, and Tanner, 6, were overcome with gratitude for the police officers that took time out of their day to make their son happy. "It was a weird feeling," says Brad with catch in his voice. "It was a good feeling, to see him happy over something that most people wouldn't even think twice about, seeing a cop. To see him, that's what he wanted to do and he got what we wanted. It almost makes me want to cry. These guys, they made this kid's world. It was just great. I couldn't repay them if I tried."

But for Trooper Easlick, the visit with Tyler was its own reward too. Aside from the gift of making a young boy's birthday one he will never forget, Easlick received a special gift of his own.

"Tyler said that I'm his best friend and that Trooper Hutchinson is just his friend," Easlick says with a smile.

If only we could all be so lucky to have a best friend like Tyler. And because Reseigh says Tyler loves listening to his parents read him comments out loud at bedtime of everyone wishing him a happy birthday, here is our happiest of birthday wishes to you too, Tyler, from everyone at Babble.

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When No One Showed Up to This 8-Year-Old's Birthday Party, The Local Police Department Stepped In
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