A number of celebrities, including the likes of Anne Hathaway, Mark Ruffalo, and 'Black Panther' star Winston Duke, praised the young boy's bravery.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on July 15, 2020. It has since been updated.
Meet Bridger, the internet's favorite real-life superhero. The 6-year-old became a star online almost overnight after his aunt shared the story of how he saved his little sister from a dog attack by putting himself in the path of danger. The young boy had to reportedly get about 90 stitches after he was bitten several times on his face and neck in his attempt to protect his sibling. A number of celebrities, including the likes of Anne Hathaway and Black Panther star Winston Duke, shared Bridger's heroic story with their followers online earning the young boy accolades from far and wide.
Nikki Walker, Bridger's aunt, shared the incredible story of her nephew's heroism on Instagram, writing: "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." She revealed that the little boy later opened up to his family about what was going through his head at the terrifying moment of the attack. "If someone was going to die, I thought it should be me," Bridger told his family, said Walker.
Walker elaborated on the details of the incident in another Instagram post, writing: "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. 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." The proud aunt also explained that despite his wounds, Bridger is in great spirits and thrilled about all the love he's receiving online.
"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," she wrote.
Responding to an Instagram follower's query, Walker revealed in another post that the children had been attacked by a German Shepherd mix and that the dog's owners ultimately decided on their own to put the canine down. Bridger's family soon received several inquiries about any fundraiser set up to support the young boy. Walker stated that anyone "wishing to help out financially can, instead, donate to" the non-profits Mission 22 and Wounded Warrior Project—both organizations that work towards helping veterans.
Sharing Bridger's story with his followers, actor Winston Duke wrote: "This little guy is a Super Hero!! Way to go little guy! He stood up to a charging dog that was going to attack his sister and took her to safety! What a guy... so proud of you lil buddy. You are my hero and I know you are your sister’s hero too!" Anne Hathaway also praised the youngster for his bravery, writing: "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. Hey @markruffalo, do you need a teammate??"
Ruffalo too shared a personal message for the young superhero on Walker's Instagram post that's sure to make the young boy's day. "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 a man than many, many I have seen or known. With Admiration... Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/Hulk/Professor)," he wrote.