A young man from Acadiana went viral after video of him was taken cruising down the Palmetto Mardi Gras parade route on a cow. After the video went viral locally, more details of Thaddeus Sam's storied life have come to light as surrounding communities join together with one goal in mind.

Mardi Gras festivities kicked-off around Acadiana over the weekend, which included in St. Landry Parish at the Palmetto parade. The event brought out families and friends alike into the gorgeous weather to enjoy good company, good food, and of course all of the fun.

Facebook via Kristin Casse Ducote
Facebook via Kristin Casse Ducote

But through all of the beads caught in the parade, there was one young man who caught eyes as he cruised down the route on a cow. Yes, a literal cow.

Video of Man Riding Cow in Palmetto Mardi Gras Parade

See the video from the parade posted by community member Kristin Casse Ducote on Facebook below.

As this Palmetto community member shared video of the moment to Facebook, it quickly gained traction. But before too long, friends and family of the young man featured in the video began providing more context for who this person was and the unique journey that began for him in April of 2018.

Who is the Palmetto Parade Cowboy? Meet Thaddeus Malik Sam

In a few words, Sam is a cowboy. But there is a lot more to know about this rancher and animal lover from Louisiana.

The 24-year-old had spent most of his years with boots on his feet. He helped raise animals on an Acadiana area farm which included him feeding, training, and caring for prized horses. He had a knack for developing relationships with these animals all while also working in an industrial plant every day. The best part was that Sam loved the work he got to do with these animals.

attachment-Screen Shot 2022-02-21 at 12.47.20 PM

But, some extremely unfortunate circumstances came about for the young man when he was shot in the neck in April of 2018. The injury left him partially paralyzed due to spinal cord damage and would seemingly change his life forever. Numerous surgeries have thankfully kept Sam alive, but he could no longer operate as the same cowboy he once was.

See more on Sam's journey via his TikTok page @dat_sam_boi here.

"God wasn't ready for me and has delivered me", Sam captioned the video that tells his story. Certainly, the young man knew that his life would not be easy moving forward. Nevertheless, that is exactly what Sam has done since his injury - moved forward.

What is next for Thaddeus Sam?

For Sam, continuing life as a cowboy and rancher is all he really wants. But after tragedy left him partially paralyzed, doing the work he so enjoyed became increasingly difficult. Thankfully, there is a way for Mr. Thaddeus Sam to continue to do work independently on the farm.

A GoFundMe has been set up with the goal in mind of getting Sam an Action Track Chair. This all-terrain wheelchair would provide Sam the opportunity to be more mobile outdoors. Check out how the chair operates for yourself below.

This incredible piece of technology would not only allow Sam to work efficiently on the farm, but it could also significantly improve his mental health as working with animals is what brings this young man true happiness. The new tool would give Sam hope for his future, which if you have made it this far into the story - you know is already quite bright.

attachment-Screen Shot 2022-02-21 at 12.47.20 PM

No matter what happens with the GoFundMe, which at the time this story was written has raised almost $2,000 of the $23,000 goal, I believe that Thaddeus Sam has already been a massive inspiration for so many across Acadiana. I know that personally, as a man around Sam's age, I could not imagine what it takes to continue progressing through life after suffering such a tragic setback. Nevertheless, this young man wakes up every day with one goal in mind - to persevere and get work done.

Thaddeus Sam has inspired me and I hope his story inspires you too. We will be sure to provide updates as Sam's incredible journey through life continues. If you would like more information on the GoFundMe set up to get Sam a chair, simply click HERE.

Happy Mardi Gras to you all!

My Mardi Gras MVP List

More From 99.9 KTDY