Back in July, a 6-year-old boy from Wyoming named Bridger Walker went viral after the story of how he saved his younger sister from a violent dog attack made its rounds on social media. After going viral, his story earned him some recognition from a few members of the Avengers cast — Chris Evans sent him a Captain America shield, Robert Downey Jr. gave him a shout-out on Instagram, and Tom Holland invited him to the set of the next Spider-Man movie — but this week his story got an even happier ending. As revealed by New York-based dermatologist Dhaval Bhanusali, MD, this week, Walker started treatment to help heal the scar left behind during the attack.
Walker's bite to the face ended up requiring him to have surgery and get stitches immediately after. He and his family just began working with Dr. Bhanusali to receive intense laser treatments to help further heal the injury. "When approaching any traumatic scar, we look at both the 'redness' as well as the texture and utilize multiple lasers to get there," he told POPSUGAR. "Like you would expect, he did incredibly well, and I'm hopeful the early intervention will lead to a great outcome over the coming months."
Dr. Bhanusali first heard about Walker's story through a family member who was explaining what happened to his niece and nephews during a FaceTime call. "[My sister] was telling the story to my nephews and teaching them the importance of protecting their sister, who is one and a half," he said. "She showed me the pictures of his injury and then asked if I could help. Once my nephew further encouraged me to do it, I knew I had to at least reach out."
He then coordinated with Utah-based dermatologist, Cory Maughan, DO, to work with the family and get Walker to New York City to receive his first treatment, during which Dr. Bhanusali said that Walker even got a call from dermatologist Sandra Lee, MD (aka Dr. Pimple Popper) for some encouragement.
"The story is really [Walker's] heroics and our dermatology community coming together," he said. "He is part of our family and it's our job to protect him and bring back that perfect smile he has." In a photo shared to Instagram by Dr. Bhanusali on Aug. 16, the two are seen smiling next to each other outside of his practice as Walker holds up his own mini white coat that was likely given to him as a gift for all that he's been through.
"In a time of so much bad, he literally showed the absolute best of humanity."
"Honestly, he deserves all the love and support he has been getting," Dr. Bhanusali said. "With so much loss and fear, he has brought hope and strength. His story has been shared far and wide, and rightfully so. In a time of so much bad, he literally showed the absolute best of humanity. Kids like him are everything that is right in this world, and he deserves our support."
Dr. Bhanusali also took the time to praise Walker's family who initially spread the news of his attack: "It was the way they took a negative and turned it into such a positive that was so amazing," he said. "I honestly don't know if I would have reacted the same way. They are the kindest and sweetest people and honestly, displayed the type of humanity that we should all emulate."
The 6-year-old's father, Robert Walker, also expressed his gratitude for the doctor's help during this time. "Dr. Bhanusali's communications with us were so reassuring," he told us. "As an attorney, I know that outcomes are never fully guaranteed, but we also knew that following Dr. Bhanusali's lead, with the help of the entire derm community, Bridger would be getting the best care available."
We're excited to follow Walker's journey to see the results.