BROWNSBURG, Ind. — A freshman at Brownsburg High School is going to miss some school next week during a special trip to Las Vegas. Owen Mahan is a patient ambassador for the Shriners Children's Open PGA golf tourney.
Owen often wears a t-shirt that reads “Leg Story: $20”. He has quite a story to share.
Owen's leg story starts when he was just a toddler.
“My mom dropped me in a hot tub of water,” said Owen. “I was burned over 99% of my body.”
He was placed in foster care with Susan Mahan. Her family adopted Owen. But doctors didn't know if he would ever walk, talk or even survive.
"His life is so remarkable,” said Susan, “and I've always said God left Owen here for a purpose. And I believe the purpose for Owen's life is to inspire people. And that's what Owen does every single day."
Because of ongoing complications from his burns, doctors told Owen and his family that both his legs needed to be amputated about five years ago.
"My mom had to think about it, and I just shouted out, 'Get rid of them. They're already causing me enough pain,’” said Owen.
"He's always got a smile on his face,” said Susan. “He wakes up in the morning with a smile. He wakes up from surgery with a smile."
Owen has undergone 60 surgeries already. More are to come.
"To help my skin stretch, because my body doesn't stretch like your body would,” said Owen. “My body, it doesn't stretch when I'm growing, so I have to have surgeries."
Owen is 15 now, a freshman thriving at Brownsburg High School in a new school district for him this fall.
He serves as a patient ambassador, raising money for Shriners Children's Ohio hospital, where he is treated.
Owen will travel to Las Vegas next week as a standard bearer for the Shriners Children's Open. He'll carry the mobile scoreboards on the course for the PGA golfers. Owen is competing against the other patient ambassadors to raise money for Shriners Children's Hospitals.
"It kind of makes me feel happy that I inspire people, that everything is possible,” said Owen.