Lake Forest native Brian Ludmer is optimistic about making a full recovery from injuries he suffered last week when shot during an attack at Los Angeles International Airport.
Ludmer, 29, issued his first public comments on the shooting Tuesday as part of an online fundraising effort launched by his family to help defray his medical expenses from the Nov. 1 shooting.
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In his statement, Ludmer said he's been overwhelmed by the thoughts and prayers that have been relayed to him while recovering at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. He was upgraded to good condition Monday, but is expected to need more surgery on his wounded leg and extensive physical therapy.
"I just wanted to let everyone know that I'm going to be OK," Ludmer said. "Without going into too much detail, I was shot once in the back of my right calf. The bullet then exited my right shin and grazed my left leg.
"The tibia and fibula in my right leg were both completely shattered producing multiple compound fractures. I crawled to safety, applied a tourniquet, and was later found by the police who pulled me out of the building despite great risk to themselves as the shooter was still active at the time."
Ludmer said doctors informed him there was minimal nerve damage, indicating he has a good chance of regaining full use of his leg and foot.
"It is going to be a long road, with at least two more surgeries and a metal rod in my leg, but I should be OK in the end," said the 2006 graduate of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Ludmer, who attended Lake Forest High School, was waiting for a flight to Boston for a family wedding Nov. 1 when he was shot in a leg by a man who opened fire inside a security checkpoint. He serves as the technical director at The Performing Arts Education Centers at Calabasas and Agoura high schools in suburban Los Angeles.
Four of Ludmer's siblings have launched the online "Help Brian Get Back on His Feet" fundraiser to assist with his medical expenses. His three brothers and sister said any donations not used for medical costs will be donated to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Authorities said one Transportation Security Administration officer was killed in the attack and three others were wounded. Paul Ciancia, 24, an unemployed motorcycle mechanic, is charged in the shooting.