On July 9, 6-year-old Bridger stepped up in a big way. When he realized that his younger sister was about to be attacked by a charging dog, he leaped in front of her.
Bridger ended up getting bitten on the face numerous times, but he still managed to grab his sister’s hand and run away with her to safety.
Bridger spent some time in the hospital, receiving roughly 90 stitches on his face. His aunt shared the ordeal on Instagram, saying that Bridger explained, “If someone had to die, I thought it should be me.”
The feat alone is clearly heroic, and Bridger’s selflessness has attracted the attention of quite a few superheroes.
One of those is Chris Evans, who played Captain America in eight Avengers movies. Chris was so blown away by Bridger’s epic feat that he decided to gift the young superhero something really special: a real-life Captain America shield.
Chris also sent Bridger a special video message:
“Pal, you’re a hero, what you did was so brave, so selfless — your sister is so lucky to have you as a big brother. Your parents must be so proud of you.”
He told Bridger he is sending the young boy “an authentic Captain America shield because pal, you deserve it.”
He added, “Keep being the man you are; we need people like you. Hang in there. I know recovery might be tough, but based on what I’ve seen, I don’t think there’s much that can slow you down.”
Bridger’s aunt, Nikki Walker, has also offered updates about how the little boy is doing:
“I just finished visiting with Bridger at his home. His wounds are looking so much better! He’s in great spirits, and his awesome personality is intact. He can’t smile too widely yet, but he was grinning as I read some of your comments to him.”
She also said that the family isn’t angry with the owners of the dog:
“I’d also like to mention here that the dog’s owners are really great people who have been nothing but kind to Bridger and his family. We feel no resentment toward them at all, and—if anything—there’s only been an increase of love between our families as a result of this incident.”
People have been so interested in Bridger’s story that Nikki felt compelled to offer a second update:
“Once again we’re blown away by the amazing comments and messages that Bridger’s receiving. I’ve had lots of inquiries about a GoFundMe. Bridger’s family has asked that any one wishing to help out financially can, instead, donate to @mission_22 or @wwp. Bridger is also a huge fan of Science, especially Geology. So I’m going to start a post where people can share with him pictures of cool rocks that they see.”
Which was quickly followed by a third update! It’s not hard to understand why so many people are interested in Bridger’s story.
“Once again, everyone’s kindness has meant so much to us. I’m trying to get to all of the messages that I can, but it may take some time. For those who have inquired about sending Bridger some rocks, here’s the address to use: Bridger Walker
P.O. Box 22141
Cheyenne, WY 82003.”
Attacks on children by dogs are surprisingly prevalent in the United States, with some sources saying that nearly half of all children will be bitten by a dog before they reach adulthood. Children between the ages of 5 and 9 are most vulnerable to dog bites.
Additionally, around 4.5 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs each year. The reasons that dogs bite can vary widely and largely depend on the context in which the bite happens. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) says that any dog can bite, from the fluffiest, tiniest dog to the largest.
The AVMA also states that one of the best things dog owners can do to prevent their dogs from biting is to make sure their dogs have received adequate socialization: “Socializing your pet helps your dog feel at ease in different situations. By introducing your dog to people and other animals while it’s a puppy, it feels more comfortable in different situations as it gets older.”
Happily, Bridger is expected to make a full recovery from the injuries he sustained. His family has been pleasantly surprised by all the attention his story has received, with his aunt sharing, “When I first posted for Bridger, I expected maybe 500 likes at most and maybe a couple dozen reshares. But here we are. So much love from all walks of life (including a few celebs)!”