After he created a GoFundMe to raise money for a cross-country journey of healing, Lady Gaga‘s dog walker Ryan Fischer has clarified that the Oscar-winning star has been “very supportive” of his recovery, both financially and emotionally.
“She’s helped me so much. She’s been a friend for me. After I was attacked, my family was flown out and I had trauma therapists flown to me. I stayed at her house for months while friends comforted me and security was around me,” Fischer told Gayle King on Friday’s episode of CBS This Morning, after the journalist indicated that his GoFundMe prompted questions about the pop icon’s involvement.
In February, Fischer was shot in the neck while walking Gaga’s French bulldogs through a Los Angeles neighborhood. EW learned through a source that Gaga covered Fischer’s medical bills related to the shooting, totaling roughly $100,000.
“[She’s] very supportive of my journey right now. It’s hard for people to understand why someone would go about healing in this way. I grew up Catholic, in the Jesuit faith, and there’s something about giving up your resources, giving up your belongings and to contribute back to society,” he said. “I know that doesn’t make sense to a lot of people, but she totally gets it.”
Fischer also recounted his visit to the emergency room after the incident, telling King he was scared when he was approached by the dognappers, but there was “no way” he wasn’t going to fight to protect Gaga’s dogs despite knowing he’d be shot in the process.
“When they put the chest tube in, all of this blood just spurted out on the doctor next to me and everyone’s faces just dropped. I heard my blood pressure drop,” he remembered. “The people in the E.R. who I’d seen that night told me that they didn’t think I was going to survive that night.”
CBS News; MPI67/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images Ryan Fischer stresses that Lady Gaga has been supportive of his gunshot recovery.
As Fischer recovered, a woman returned Koji and Gustav, while another of Gaga’s dogs, Asia, was able to escape after two assailants exited a car to approach Fischer. Five suspects were ultimately arrested in connection with the crime. Per the Associated Press, the arrested parties didn’t know the dogs were Gaga’s, and that they targeted the animals for their high resale value.
After the attack, Gaga offered a $500,000 reward for the return of the dogs, and released a statement praising Fischer: “I continue to love you Ryan Fischer, you risked your life to fight for our family,” she said at the time. “You’re forever a hero.”
Watch Fischer’s appearance on CBS This Morning above.
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