Shriners Hospital Doctors and Nurse Join Grateful Dad in Lake Tahoe Tough Mudder Competition

What a difference a dad, three doctors, a nurse and a community can make.  Just ask Matt Owston. On Saturday, June 11, he will immerse himself deep in the mud as he races to raise money to help kids at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California.

Inspired by the care his daughter receives at the Shriners Hospital in Sacramento, Owston is competing in the Lake Tahoe Tough Mudder at the Northstar Resort in Truckee.  Joining him in the muddy 10-mile obstacle course are Brian Haus, M.D., Deidre Bielicka. M.D., and Penny Graham, R.N.  They are part of the Shriners Hospital orthopaedic team that cares for Owston’s 10-year-old daughter Emma. Orthopaedic surgeon Jenny Boakes, M.D., and other supporters also are joining Owston in raising money for Shriners Hospital through their Tough Mudder  fundraising page, where donations now exceed $6,500.

Emma was 8 years old when her spring vacation was cut short by a horrific accident. Emma and her grandfather were riding through the sand dunes near Pismo Beach when their vehicle was struck by a Hummer.  Severely injured in the accident, Emma flew by emergency transport to Fresno Community Regional Hospital, where doctors counseled Emma’s parents, Matt and Nicole, on the need to find a surgeon experienced in pediatrics.  Dr. Haus, a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon at both the Sacramento Shriners Hospital and the UC Davis Medical Center, responded to the call.

“Our family is forever grateful to Dr. Haus and the extraordinary care Emma receives at Shriners Hospital,” Owston said. “We know that she wasn’t Dr. Haus’s only patient, but he made us feel like she was,” said Owston. “Initially, his surgery saved Emma’s leg. Ever since, Dr. Haus and his team have helped our family heal.”

It has been two years since the accident. Emma is back at school full time enjoying friends, family, music and photography.

Shriners Hospitals for Children ─ Northern California is devoted to transforming the lives of children through excellence in treatment, teaching and research.  Located at 2425 Stockton Boulevard in Sacramento, the Northern California Shriners Hospital provides care to children with orthopaedic conditions, spinal cord injuries, burns, cleft lip, scars from any cause and other complex surgical needs. There are no barriers to care as admission is based on age and diagnosis.   Care is provided regardless of the family’s ability to pay. For further information call (916) 453-2000 or visit here for more information.

Media Contact:  Catherine Curran | Public Relations (916) 453-2218 |


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