Two-year-old given a '0% chance of survival' after receiving burns to 98% of his body is now inspiring others

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By stefan armitage

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A two-year-old boy who was left with a “0% chance of survival” after receiving third-degree burns over 98% of his body is now inspiring others after undergoing nearly 50 surgeries. 

"When I got there, it was minute by minute and hour by hour," recounts Susan Mahan, Owen's adoptive mother, reflecting on the harrowing moment she first encountered Owen at Shriners Children’s Hospital in Dayton, Ohio.

The tragic incident occurred when Owen was just two years old, PEOPLE reports.

Owen’s biological mother had submerged him in scalding hot water, leaving him with second- and third-degree burns covering 98% of his body. She waited two hours before contacting anybody for medical assistance. 

Amidst Owen's critical condition, doctors initially gave him a "0% chance to survive." 


However, the dedicated team at Shriners - a renowned pediatric facility specializing in burn care - worked tirelessly to provide lifesaving treatment.

Susan vividly remembers the moment her life took a profound turn: “He was burnt, he had sores all over him. He was just a mess.”

After being assured by hospital staff that they would help provide the care Owen needed, the 62-year-old recalled: "My life forever changed."


Now 16 years old, Owen has undergone a staggering 47 surgeries at Shriners, each procedure representing a step forward in his remarkable journey of recovery. From cleaning his wounds to multiple skin grafting procedures, the hospital has been a beacon of hope for Owen and his family.

Susan, a mother of nine and grandmother of seven, has become Owen's primary caregiver, tending to his wounds at home between hospital visits. 

Owen was also forced to have both of his legs amputated below the knee. 

Despite the numerous challenges they face, Susan remains steadfast in her commitment to Owen and his continued recovery: "Our journey's not over with Shriners."

Owen is now a patient ambassador for the hospital that saved his life. Credit: Lovetotherescue.org

Amidst the trials, Owen's resilience shines through. Despite enduring unimaginable pain and adversity, he greets each day with a smile. "He has every right to be mad at the world, but he has a smile on his face every single day," Susan told PEOPLE. “This is the only life he knows. But he has such a good outlook on life.”

Owen's positive attitude and indomitable spirit have made him an inspiration to many. Despite his own ongoing struggles, Owen dedicates himself to uplifting others facing similar challenges. Jessica Wagner from Shriners emphasizes Owen's pivotal role as a patient ambassador: "He is willing to share his journey. It's so inspiring for kids who are at the very beginning of their burn injury."

Reflecting on Owen's journey from a "0% chance to survive" to a beacon of hope, Susan is convinced of his greater purpose: "God left him here for a reason. And I truly think it's to inspire others."


For Owen, Shriners is more than just a hospital — it's family. "They gave me life. They helped me walk. They accept me for who I am," Owen told PEOPLE.

Susan echoes Owen's sentiments, recognizing Shriners' pivotal role in his miraculous journey: "He wouldn't be alive today if it wasn't for them."

We wish this incredible family all the best for their future!

Featured image credit: Facebook/IfOwenCanWeCan

Two-year-old given a '0% chance of survival' after receiving burns to 98% of his body is now inspiring others

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

A two-year-old boy who was left with a “0% chance of survival” after receiving third-degree burns over 98% of his body is now inspiring others after undergoing nearly 50 surgeries. 

"When I got there, it was minute by minute and hour by hour," recounts Susan Mahan, Owen's adoptive mother, reflecting on the harrowing moment she first encountered Owen at Shriners Children’s Hospital in Dayton, Ohio.

The tragic incident occurred when Owen was just two years old, PEOPLE reports.

Owen’s biological mother had submerged him in scalding hot water, leaving him with second- and third-degree burns covering 98% of his body. She waited two hours before contacting anybody for medical assistance. 

Amidst Owen's critical condition, doctors initially gave him a "0% chance to survive." 


However, the dedicated team at Shriners - a renowned pediatric facility specializing in burn care - worked tirelessly to provide lifesaving treatment.

Susan vividly remembers the moment her life took a profound turn: “He was burnt, he had sores all over him. He was just a mess.”

After being assured by hospital staff that they would help provide the care Owen needed, the 62-year-old recalled: "My life forever changed."


Now 16 years old, Owen has undergone a staggering 47 surgeries at Shriners, each procedure representing a step forward in his remarkable journey of recovery. From cleaning his wounds to multiple skin grafting procedures, the hospital has been a beacon of hope for Owen and his family.

Susan, a mother of nine and grandmother of seven, has become Owen's primary caregiver, tending to his wounds at home between hospital visits. 

Owen was also forced to have both of his legs amputated below the knee. 

Despite the numerous challenges they face, Susan remains steadfast in her commitment to Owen and his continued recovery: "Our journey's not over with Shriners."

Owen is now a patient ambassador for the hospital that saved his life. Credit: Lovetotherescue.org

Amidst the trials, Owen's resilience shines through. Despite enduring unimaginable pain and adversity, he greets each day with a smile. "He has every right to be mad at the world, but he has a smile on his face every single day," Susan told PEOPLE. “This is the only life he knows. But he has such a good outlook on life.”

Owen's positive attitude and indomitable spirit have made him an inspiration to many. Despite his own ongoing struggles, Owen dedicates himself to uplifting others facing similar challenges. Jessica Wagner from Shriners emphasizes Owen's pivotal role as a patient ambassador: "He is willing to share his journey. It's so inspiring for kids who are at the very beginning of their burn injury."

Reflecting on Owen's journey from a "0% chance to survive" to a beacon of hope, Susan is convinced of his greater purpose: "God left him here for a reason. And I truly think it's to inspire others."


For Owen, Shriners is more than just a hospital — it's family. "They gave me life. They helped me walk. They accept me for who I am," Owen told PEOPLE.

Susan echoes Owen's sentiments, recognizing Shriners' pivotal role in his miraculous journey: "He wouldn't be alive today if it wasn't for them."

We wish this incredible family all the best for their future!

Featured image credit: Facebook/IfOwenCanWeCan