Billy Owen was a professional motorcycle mechanic with a loving wife and an adorable son, but fate had other plans for him.

Billy Owen was a professional mechanic before the tragedy hit him.
Billy Owen was a professional mechanic before the tragedy hit him.

Soon after, he began to experience headaches and was unable to breathe properly through his right nostril due to a complete blockage; after taking decongestants for a while, his wife forced him to see a specialist.

Billy learned in February 2009 that he had sinonasal differentiated carcinoma, a rare form of cancer that affected his nasal cavity and had a 10% survival rate.

It was heartbreaking for his family because the cancer had spread so far that doctors had to remove half of his face, including his right eye, muscles, and nerves.

Billy was left with little sense of smell, a dental plate, and a gaping hole in his eye from which he can stick his finger and have it come out of his mouth.

Billy Owen’s Survival

A surgery like this would undoubtedly bring down giants, but Owen always believed it improved his life. Owen believes that after his surgery, he went on a rampage and felt the presence of God, which gave him the assurance that everything would be fine.

Billy Owen

He thought of his wife and son and resolved to do everything he could to be there for them.

Billy soon began looking for work as a zombie in music videos and films, as well as performing at haunted houses such as The Goretorium in Las Vegas and telling his story at the Venice Beach Freakshow, where his dedication to life and positive thinking inspired the audience.

Todd Ray, the creator of the AMC series Freakhow, called Owen “the strongest man alive” as he continued to inspire people.

“When he was confronted by death, he beat it,” Ray said. “Most people would be depressed, but he looks like he’s happy.”

Ray believes Owen’s missing eyeball is only part of the picture; you can see right through his skull, but the story is so moving that he touches and amazes everyone in the room.

However, he admits that it’s not always easy for him, citing the phantom itch he gets where his eye used to be as the most difficult aspect of the surgery.

“It’s tough when you get an itch in the corner of your eye and there’s nothing to scratch.”

Owen still rides dirt bikes, but he no longer works as a professional mechanic “It’s too dangerous; I can’t put my life on the line for the sake of others. I can do it for myself, but I’m not sure what I’d do if another person died because I didn’t notice a loose bolt.”

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