Boy gets 90 stitches after saving little sister from dog attack
TORONTO -- A six-year-old Wyoming boy is being hailed as a hero by his family after he protected his little sister from a dog attack and ended up needing 90 stitches to his face.
Bridger Walker's aunt, Nikki Walker, shared details of the attack on Instagram. She wrote on July 9 that Bridger saw the dog approach his sister and deliberately stood in front of her. The dog attacked Bridger instead, biting the side of the boy’s face and head, the aunt said.
"My nephew is a hero who saved his little sister from an attacking dog. He, himself, took on the attack so that the dog wouldn't get his sister," the Instagram caption read.
Despite being injured, Nikki said Bridger grabbed his sister's hand and ran with her "to keep her safe."
Nikki's Instagram post included photos of the siblings and Bridger following the attack, with bruises and multiple stitches across his face.
Nikki said that when she asked Bridger why he stepped in front of the dog, he told her that "If someone was going to die, I thought it should be me."
"We love our brave boy," she wrote. As of Wednesday afternoon, the post has received more than half a million likes.
Nikki said Bridger was treated by a "skilled plastic surgeon" following the attack and is now recovering at home.
"His wounds are looking so much better! He’s in great spirits, and his awesome personality is intact," Nikki said in an update to her post. "He can’t smile too widely yet but he was grinning as I read some of your comments to him."
Nikki also updated concerned users with information regarding the dog involved in the attack.
"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," she wrote.
While some social media users have been calling for Nikki to start a GoFundMe page to help with the boy's recovery, she said those interested can instead direct donations to Mission 22, a non-profit geared towards preventing suicides among former service members, or the Wounded Warrior Project, a group dedicated to helping injured American military veterans.
Nikki added that those wanting to support Bridger can send him photos of "cool rocks" as he is "a huge fan of science, especially geology."
"Let's go on a rock hunt! As you're out and about, be sure to take pictures of any cool rocks that you see. Be sure to tell him what state or country the rocks are in. Thank you again for all the love. #BridgerStrong," Nikki wrote in another post.
Nikki is asking social media users to share Bridger's story in hopes of receiving a shout out from a Marvel superhero actor so they can hear about "this latest hero who joined their ranks."
Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo responded in a comment saying, "People who put the well beings of others in front of themselves are the most heroic and thoughtful people I know. I truly respect and admire your courage and your heart."
"Real courage isn't dominating people or fighting against people or walking around like a tough guy. Real courage is knowing what is right to do and doing it even when it might end up hurting you somehow," he added.
Despite being part of the DC Comics universe, Anne Hathaway, who played Catwoman in "The Dark Knight Rises," dedicated an Instagram post to Bridger.
"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," Hathaway wrote in the caption.