A former Tempe, Arizona, resident is hoping to own and operate his own food truck in his native state of Massachusetts, despite being slowed by a gunshot wound he suffered two years ago.
The Boston Globe says Ryan Doyle was shot in the leg in November 2013 in Tempe after breaking up a physical argument between a man and a woman.
Doyle, then 31, was in his backyard grilling steaks when he heard a scream. He ran to the front yard and found a man, identified as Jeremy Cartwright, hitting a woman.
As Doyle implored the man to leave the woman alone, Cartwright, then 21, pulled out a handgun and aimed it at Doyle. Doyle pleaded for Cartwright not to shoot, but as Doyle tried to run, he was shot from less than 20 feet away.
The bullet hit the main artery of Doyle’s left thigh, and it destroyed his femur and his knee. He couldn’t walk.
Doyle, who moved to Arizona in 2005, said he stayed alive by taking off his belt and using it as a tourniquet around his leg. He’d later receive a blood transfusion and multiple surgeries to rebuild the leg.
Cartwright was later found to be the boyfriend of the woman he was allegedly assaulting.
In February 2014, Cartwright pled guilty to aggravated assault and misconduct with weapons. He was sentenced to nine years at the Arizona Department of Corrections.
Doyle moved back to Massachusetts, where he grew up, because he couldn’t care for himself. He spent his days lying in bed in his parents’ house in Webster, unable to walk.
It would be six months before Doyle would be able to step out of his wheelchair and start to walk with a cane.
Growing up, Doyle learned to cook in his mother’s kitchen, even setting up his own hot dog cart off a Massachusetts highway at the age of 15, and later treating his work colleagues to his homemade concoctions.
“I would cook up all of the food and bring it in for my coworkers,” Ryan said. “I once made lobster and brought it to work in this big cooler. I was so excited about it I was also wearing a lobster hat. They started calling me ‘lobster man’ after that.”
He’d eventually be called a Good Samaritan by several Arizona news stations after taking a bullet for the abused woman.
The Worcester, Mass., resident has started a Kickstarter page to help him with his food truck aspirations, saying he wants to “bring the taste of New England from coast to coast.” He’s hoping to raise at least $50,000 by Monday, March 4.
His siblings set up a GoFundMe account to help him with medical bills after his gunshot injury, because he was uninsured at the time. However, the Kickstarter page is the first crowdfunding account he has set up for himself.
Ryan has a long way to go. He still feels pain in his leg, but the old sensation — like his leg is burning with the flames of a hot fire — has been replaced with an ache like the pain that comes the day after a tough work-out. And, he’ll need a truck. He’ll need more people to believe.