In 2020, 6-year-old Latter-day Saint Bridger Walker’s selfless and courageous act of love of shielding his younger sister from an attacking dog gained him overwhelming national attention. His heroic act caused him to take a devastating bite to the face, which required a two-hour surgery and more than 90 stitches to pull his face and scalp back together.
At the hospital, as Bridger’s father waited with him before surgery, his father asked him why he did what he did. Bridger replied, “If someone had to die, I thought it should be me.” That was a testament of the special bond that exists between Bridger and his little sister — a bond that began the day she was born, and Bridger was only 18 months old at the time.
After the incident, Bridger’s family took to social media to spread a message of love and issued a call to “comfort those in need of comfort.” His aunt, Nicole Walker, also posted about the incident on Instagram in hopes that some of Bridger’s superheroes would send words of encouragement to cheer him up while he was recovering.
The post went viral, and several celebrities did respond. Actor Chris Evans, who played Captain America, told Bridger, “Pal, you’re a hero” and promised to send him an authentic Captain American shield, which his little sister suggested he “take everywhere you go.” Actor Robert Downey Jr., who played Iron Man, told Bridger he was a “Rockstar” and to give him a call on his next birthday for a special surprise.
There was also one more superhero who contacted Bridger. Tom Holland, the actor who plays Spiderman, invited Bridger and his family to come see him on the set of the movie, Spiderman: No Way Home. In an Instagram post, Bridger’s dad, Robert, posted, “The look on the kids’ faces was priceless when we rounded the blue-screen to see Tom, in full costume, high above the set on a light post. It was emotional to see him wave at the kids like he was the one that was supposed to be excited, not the other way around.”
Tom came down from the light post and had a Spiderman mask ready to give to Bridger. He and actress Zendaya then coached Bridger on how to pose like Spiderman.
Robert also said in his post, “I will never forget the grace and kindness [Tom and Zendaya] showed our children. Zendaya immediately approached my teenage daughter and told her how much she loved her nails. I don’t know if she will ever know how much that simple act means to me—to see my sweet daughter light up with self-confidence and joy.” He further commented that the cast and crew made his kids feel like stars. Bridger even got to go for a swing with Tom.
Robert further commented in his post, “They don’t just act the part of friendly neighborhood heroes—that’s what they truly are.” He also spoke highly of Tom Holland and his brother, Harry Holland. He said, “I cannot imagine there are more humble and gracious young men in all of Hollywood than the Holland boys.”
*Photo Credits: Robert Walker – Bridger Walker’s dad