Ryan Fischer, Lady Gaga’s dog walker, admits he’s facing a difficult road to recovery to overcome wounds both physical and mental.
Back in February, Fischer was shot in the chest while caring for Gaga’s three French bulldogs on North Sierra Bonita Avenue in Los Angeles. The assailants made off with two of the dogs. Five suspects were arrested and the dogs were safely returned to the singer.
Fischer was hospitalized and had a portion of his lung removed as a result of the shooting.
RELATED: Lady Gaga’s Dog Walker Says Healing Hasn’t ‘Been Easy To Navigate’
Fischer is now on a journey of physical and emotional healing, and he opened up about the difficulties he’s experiencing in a candid statement he shared on social media.
“Reading some of the comments and media spins on my journey has been quite jarring, and I think I need to clarify. I am grateful for all the ways I have been provided for in my recovery. I have nothing but gratitude in my heart for the care I received and the way I was supported. No one deserves any blame. Taking this time for myself is my choice and the journey I want to take is also my choice. I am giving myself space to recover. The way I breakdown and cry any time I perceive a dog is in danger, a car speeds by or a child screams… I’m still not in any shape to do a job I once was quite good at. Just getting through each day is difficult. It’s hard to explain what trauma does to a person, and I wish I could flip a switch and go back to the life I once knew and be with dogs I love…..But I can’t,” he explained.
“I’ve pondered if I told myself last year, ‘Ryan, you’re going to be shot and your whole life is going to change and you should MAYBE save a little of your money instead of giving to causes, friends affected by the pandemic, and, definitely not spend so much on takeout and wine,’ would I have done anything differently? I don’t think I would have…. Okay maybe not sooo much takeout. And, fine, the wine too,” Fischer continued.
“So it’s these choices of my past and the current ones I am making to heal that have taken me to this point,” he added. “Going on this unconventional journey of healing is a terrifying joy, sharing it with you because it feels purposeful for all those who have suffered trauma and might benefit from the tools that I learn along the way…. That is a joy. I am going on this journey, because I need to do the work to heal – and it is hard work. I am on a mission, and donations or support of any kind are welcomed because I absolutely am in need of them, but no one needs to be blamed for my circumstances, and I also don’t see how victim blaming is productive (some people can be really mean… I mean, honestly!). I know I will be okay as I continue to find my way. As I said, there is nothing but gratitude in my heart for what has already been given. I love you, and thank you for all the support you have already shown and given me throughout this process. I am beyond humbled.”
Previously, he announced he’d launched a GoFundMe to raise money to purchase a van to help him travel around the U.S. in search of healing methods to support his growth from trauma.
“All that time spent reclaiming my body, I now needed to be equally devoted to strengthening my emotional and mental health,” he wrote. “With no vehicle, apartment, and having run out of savings and surviving on donations from generous loved ones, I am humbly asking for your help.
“This is not an easy thing to ask, but I have started to realize sharing your vulnerability with others is exactly when radical change begins to occur for everyone involved,” Fischer added.
Fischer has spent the last two months driving across the U.S. in a 1991 Ford Falcon, dealing with “long bouts of depression and doubt and self-pity.” The car is no longer in usable condition.
RELATED: Prosecutors: Suspects Tailed Lady Gaga’s Dog Walker
Gaga thanked Fischer in the aftermath of the shooting and reportedly paid for his approximately $100,000 medical costs.
“I continue to love you Ryan Fischer, you risked your life to fight for our family,” Gaga said in a statement. “You’re forever a hero.”
Fischer’s GoFundMe has raised nearly $4,000 of its $40,000 goal at the time of this writing.