And now for a bit of good news.
Chris Evans will give an authentic Captain America shield to a 6-year-old boy who shielded his younger sister from a charging dog earlier this month.
The ‘Avengers: Endgame’ star sent a video message to Bridger, the young hero, following efforts by the Wyoming boy’s family to share his courageous story and the aftereffects of his mauling.
“I’m sure you heard a lot of this over the past couple days, but let me be the next one to tell you, pal, you’re a hero,” Evans said in the message as Bridger looked on in costume as Captain America. “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.”
Evans then promised to send the boy an official shield used by the Marvel superhero: “Because, pal, you deserve it.”
“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,” Evans added, saluting the young boy.
Bridger’s story went viral this week after his aunt posted it on Instagram along with pictures of the wounded boy hugging his sister, now 4. The dog bit Bridger several times on the face and head, resulting in the boy having approximately 90 stitches to repair the damage, according to his aunt, Nicole Walker.
“If someone had to die, I thought it should be me,” Bridger told his father. The quote won the hearts of many on social media, racking up more than 1 million likes for Walker, who only joined Instagram this month to share the story.
“We love our brave boy and want all the other superheroes to know about this latest hero who joined their ranks,” Walker wrote, tagging Evans and several of his co-stars — Tom Holland, Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Pratt, Tom Hiddleston, Chadwick Boseman and Vin Diesel.
Bridger also received calls and messages from “a friendly neighbourhood idol.” In a separate post, Bridger’s family said that Holland, who plays Spider-Man in the films, and Ruffalo, who plays the Hulk, reached out, along with Hugh Jackman, Zachary Levi, Anne Hathaway, Robbie Amell and ‘Avengers’ directors Anthony and Joseph Russo.
The Evans video was coordinated by ComicBook.com contributor Brandon Davis. It comes on the heels of the actor’s launch of A Starting Point, a website meant to help Americans to get facts to inform their vote and connect elected leaders with their communities.
The Bridger incident took place at a friend’s house on July 9. The dog, who had been dubbed “the mean one,” was a 1-year-old German shepherd mix rescue that was up to date on its vaccines. The owners reported the incident and decided to euthanise it, Bridger’s family said in a later post. Upon learning that news during his time at the hospital, Bridger told his dad he didn’t want anything bad to happen to the dog.
The family has asked that people “forego any superficial judgements of the dog owners — because we love them” and redirected donations to several charitable organisations.
They added: “After Bridger’s actions, our family has settled on a simple request: may we each actively strive to bear one another’s burdens; stand up for and protect those that are weak, oppressed, or those whom the world might forsake; mourn with those that mourn, comfort those that need comfort, and love one another. May we follow Bridger’s example, approach the world as a child, and bring greater peace to our homes, communities, states, and countries.”