6-year-old Bridger Walker is hailed as a hero for protecting his four-year-old sister from a dog attack.
The boy and his sister were at a friend’s house in Wyoming earlier this month when a one-year-old Mix German Shepherd ran up to them while they were outside in the backyard. Without thinking, Bridger stood in front of her sister to protect her and the dog bit him in the face, his parents said.
He underwent nearly two hours of surgery that required more than 90 stitches, his parents, Robert and Teila Walker, said in a statement. Bridger is currently recovering at home.
After his story appeared online, many people, including celebrities Anne Hathaway and Chris Evans, praised Bridger for his bravery.
Robert and Teila said the terrifying incident occurred on July 9 while Bridger and his sister were with a friend. The children came into the yard and the friend pointed to a dog and said “that’s the cute dog.” The friend then pointed to another dog in the yard and said “that’s the bad guy.”
“Bridger explained how the evil one stepped on her at the time,” the couple said in their statement. “In Bridger’s words,” I stepped aside, facing my sister, so the dog wouldn’t catch her and “hit Bridger on the cheek,” wrote Robert and Teila.
“Bridger has stated that when the dog bit him, he called for his sister to run,” the statement said. “After the dog was released, Bridger ran to her sister and led her to a safer part of the yard where he thought they would be safe.”
The dog owner was able to secure the German Shepherd and asked for help.
“At the hospital, ambulance workers immediately took Bridger to a curtained area. The only time he cried was when the IV was put in,” his parents wrote.
The dog’s owner wanted to be euthanized, Robert and Teila wrote, but Bridger, who also has two dogs, did not want to be killed.
“We have assured him that the animal police will take care of the dog and that he will not have to worry about seeing him again,” the statement said.
“Captain America” actor Chris Evans was one of many celebrities moved by Bridger’s actions. In an Instagram video shared by Bridger’s aunt, Nicole Walker, the little boy — dressed in a Captain America costume — watched a video of Evans praising him for being a hero.
“I read your story. I saw what you did. And I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of this over the last couple of days but let me be the next one to tell you, 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,” the actor said.
Evans told Bridger that he’s going to send him an authentic Captain America shield and wished the little boy a speedy recovery.
Actress Anne Hathaway wrote on Instagram: “I’m not an Avenger, but I know a superhero when I see one. I can only hope I’m half as brave in my life as you are in yours, Bridger. Wishing you an easeful recovery, and many cool looking rocks.”
Other celebrities have also spoken out.
“This young man is an ACTUAL superhero. Praying for his speedy recovery,” actor Zachary Levi wrote on Instagram. “@nicolenoelwalker please tell him he’s now an honorary member of the @shazammovie ‘Shazamily’. Hope I get to shake his hand some day.”
Robert and Teila said in their statement that they wanted to share his story to help cheer him up.
“We are so appreciative of all the kind words, love and prayers extended. The love and support we have received astounds us,” they said, also thanking his doctors. A spokesperson for the hospital did not immediately return a request for comment.
When Robert asked Bridger why he stepped in front of his sister, the child explained that he wanted to keep her safe.