[Editor’s note: The following post contains descriptions of injuries sustained by children, and an Instagram post with a graphic picture of said injuries.]
What does it mean to be a superhero? In the movies, it means putting on a costume, wearing a mask, and using extraordinary powers to defeat extraordinary villains in defined, simplistic battle. In real life, it’s a lot more complicated. Especially when it involves children.
Bridger Walker is a 6-year-old boy from Cheyenne, Wyoming, who loves his little sister very much. On July 9, 2020, a dog charged the siblings and attacked. Bridger protected his sister by standing in the way, sustaining vicious bites on his face and hand. Still, he grabbed his sister’s hand, saying later, “If someone had to die, I thought it should be me.” Bridger was given 90+ stitches and sent home, where he is currently making a full recovery.
His aunt, Nicole Walker, posted this whole story on her Instagram, saying that “we love our brave boy and want all the other superheroes to know about this latest hero who joined their ranks.” She then tagged all of your favorite actors who’ve played your favorite Marvel superheroes in your favorite superhero movies. And those Avengers… assembled.
Brie Larson DM’d them. Robbie Amell crossed the DC/Marvel divide to call him “a real hero.” Mark Ruffalo wrote this exquisite comment:
Dear Bridger, I just read about what happened to you and I wanted to reach out to say this… 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. You are more of man than many, many I have seen or known. With Admiration… Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/Hulk/Professor)
Are you crying yet? Well, save some tears for what Chris Evans did. Captain America himself sent a video message to Bridger, telling him: “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… 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.”
Finally, Evans promised to send Bridger an authentic Captain America shield — a fitting accessory for a real life superhero, a young child who shouldn’t have to have done what he did, but did anyway. Maybe that’s the complicated truth behind real life acts of heroism.
Check out Bridger’s full story and Evans’ response below. For more on Mr. Evans being wholesome as heck, here he is chatting with Paul Rudd.
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Hey, all. Please, share my nephew’s story so that it gets as much exposure as it can. We know that our little hero would love some words of encouragement from his favorite heroes. On July 9th, my six year old nephew Bridger saved his little sister’s life by standing between her and a charging dog. After getting bit several times on the face and head, he grabbed his sister’s hand and ran with her to keep her safe. He later said, “If someone had to die, I thought it should be me.” After receiving 90 stitches (give or take) from a skilled plastic surgeon, he’s finally resting at home. We love our brave boy and want all the other superheroes to know about this latest hero who joined their ranks. @tomholland2013 @chrishemsworth @robertdowneyjr @markruffalo @prattprattpratt @twhiddleston @chadwickboseman @vindiesel @chrisevans EDIT: 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. 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. EDIT 2: 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. EDIT 3: 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 #BridgerStrong