Unstoppable Samuel: 13-year-old inspires everyone he meets

Two years ago, instructor Ashley Thornton didn't know what to expect when she was told she would be Samuel's teacher. (Source: KFVS)
Two years ago, instructor Ashley Thornton didn't know what to expect when she was told she would be Samuel's teacher. (Source: KFVS)
Samuel has also played just about every sport from wrestling, flag football, swimming, soccer, to basketball and running. (Source: Becky Tyler)
Samuel has also played just about every sport from wrestling, flag football, swimming, soccer, to basketball and running. (Source: Becky Tyler)

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - At Southeast Missouri State University's River Campus you don't have to look too far to find talent.

However, sometimes even the most talented person needs a little inspiration.

In this case, it comes in the form of a 13-year-old boy.

People are taking notice of Samuel Tyler from Sikeston, Missouri. He is a second-year percussion student in the Southeast Music Academy.

"It's fun," said Samuel.

"He's a very, very easy student to have," said Ashley Thornton.

However, two years ago instructor Ashley Thornton didn't know what to expect when she was told she would be Samuel's teacher.

"I did a lot of individual research beforehand," said Thornton.

That's because Samuel was born without any hands or feet.

In 2008, Samuel's parents adopted him from Vietnam. He was four years old at the time. They expected Samuel to be a little more dependent, and that was not the case.

"Absolutely amazed, [he was] unstoppable all over the place saying, 'I can do it, I can do it,'" said Becky Tyler, Samuel's Mom. "That's always been his attitude."

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Samuel has also played just about every sport from wrestling, flag football, swimming, soccer, to basketball and running.

"Just nothing ever stopped him," said Becky Tyler.

That includes learning how to play the drums.

Samuel said it wasn't hard. In fact, his teacher said he took right to it.

"Yeah, he came in already knowing how to play some common drum set rhythms," said Thornton.

There's nothing fancy about how they managed to attach the sticks to his arms. They just use some padding and a little Velcro.

"He's probably learned 15-20 songs," said Thornton.

His goal is to be able to play at church, and Samuel has already joined the youth band.

"It's been a very rewarding process," said Thornton.

Samuel doesn't take the credit for being able to overcome his obstacles.

"God gave me ability...gave me ability to do stuff," said Samuel Tyler.

He credits his faith for not only his talents, but his positive outlook on life.

"His attitude, he's always been...I can do it, how can I do it," said Becky Tyler.

When he feels the stares or hears the comments he said it really doesn't bother him.

"Little kids sometimes don't understand sometimes," said Samuel.

But, he quickly shows them he can do pretty much everything they can do, maybe even better.

"It's hard to feel sorry for yourself when you're living with Samuel," said Becky Tyler.

So, whether it be through sports or music, Samuel Tyler is proving the only limitations in life are the ones you put on yourself.

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