Great Britain

Heroic boy who saved his sister from dog attack feels ‘proud’ of his scars

The seven-year-old boy who sustained serious injuries while saving his younger sister from a vicious dog attack views his scar as “something to be proud of”, his dad has said.

Bridger Walker suffered several bites to the head and face, needing more than 90 stitches, after he placed himself between a German Shepherd and his four-year-old sister in July 2020.

Bridger, from Wyoming in the US, has since undergone surgery to improve the appearance of his scars, but he does not want them to disappear completely.

“My wife and I asked him, ‘Do you want it to go away?’ And he said, ‘I don’t want it to go all the way away,’” his father, Robert Walker, told People.

“Bridger views his scar as something to be proud of, but he also doesn’t see it as being representative of his brave act. He just perceives it as ‘I was a brother and that’s what brothers do’. It’s a reminder that his sister didn’t get hurt, and that she is okay,” he added.

Bridger’s surgery was carried out by two dermatologists, Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali and Dr. Cory Maughan who volunteered to treat him for free.

His parents’ biggest concern had been whether he would be able to smile again, due to an injury near the side of his mouth.

“And now, seeing his smile perk back up, that was more than we could have hoped for,” Robert said.

Bridger went viral last year after his aunt, Nikki Walker, shared his story on Instagram, hoping that it would reach members of the Avengers cast.

He was quickly hailed a hero by celebrities including Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Holland and Brie Larson. At the time, Bridger told his aunt: “If someone was going to die, I thought it should be me.”

A year on from the incident, his father says Bridger does not consider himself a hero.

“It almost bothers him sometimes when he’s called a hero, because he [thinks], ‘Maybe I could have done more to shield her,” he explained, adding that the outpouring of public support aided Bridger’s emotional recovery.

“When he talked to Tom Holland, he was probably the most starstruck because that was a live call so that one certainly left an impression... His emotional recovery was really a worldwide effort and that was so special to us,” Robert said.

“It is not something we’d ever want to relive, but the light certainly outshone the darkness by exponential degrees,” he added.

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