It’s been a long, winding road to recovery for Ryan Fischer, who on February 24 was shot in the chest during a robbery while walking Lady Gaga’s dogs in Hollywood. In an Instagram post shared on Monday, Fischer revealed that after his initial release from the hospital, he had to be readmitted to have portions of his lung removed.
In the two-part caption—which accompanies a video of Fischer getting dressed to leave the hospital while listening to Carly Simon’s “Coming Around Again”—he describes experiencing a “strange hissing and glugging” coming from his chest after he was sent home from the hospital the first time. “A doctor visit and x-ray followed, and soon after I was whisked to the same ER where I had been only a week earlier: my lung had collapsed, and air was filling up my chest cavity.”
According to Fischer’s account, it became clear during his second hospital stay that a portion of his lung was refusing to heal and would need to be removed. “The bullet wound had scarred my tissue like a burn,” he writes. “It could take months, if ever, for the hole to seal.”
Fischer’s ordeal began on a Wednesday night last month, when he was approached by two men—at least one of them armed with an automatic handgun—intent on stealing the three French bulldogs in his charge, which happen to belong to pop star Lady Gaga. Fischer tried to fend off the assailants, but the robbers shot him in the chest and made off with two of the dogs; the third was found in the area later that night.
Two days later, the stolen dogs were turned in to the Los Angeles Police Department by a woman who says she found them tied up in a local alleyway. The $500,000 reward Lady Gaga offered for the dogs’ safe return is being withheld until police confirm that the good samaritan wasn’t involved in the heist.
Fischer ended his Instagram post by noting that the challenges he faces moving forward go beyond his medical woes. “Now that I’m finding my way in the outside world where triggers are real and working through trauma is WAY more than dealing with one unfortunate moment in life, I look back at my exit from the hospital and smile that I continue to approach each day the same way,” he wrote. “The journey is hard, it’s assuredly painful, and questionable choices that no longer serve me like wearing skinny jeans are made. But I try. And somewhere within that I find the absurdity and wonder and beauty this life offers us all.”
Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.