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Dermatologists treat young boy who saved sister from dog attack


Drs. Dhaval Bhanusali and Cory Maughan receive national “Patient Care Hero” award from the American Academy of Dermatology

Rosemont, Ill (Nov. 16, 2020) – The American Academy of Dermatology named dermatologists Dhaval Bhanusali, MD, FAAD, and Cory Maughan, DO, FAAD, Patient Care Heroes for providing life-changing scar treatment to a young dog bite victim.

Six-year-old Bridger Walker acted quickly and courageously when a dog tried to attack his younger sister earlier this year. During his effort to protect her, he suffered severe bites to his face that were treated and stitched up shortly after the incident at the nearby hospital in Cheyenne, Wyo.

Physicians initially advised the Walker family against seeking any type of treatment for Bridger’s scars until one year passed. After hearing the heroic story, New York City-based Dr. Bhanusali reached out to the family to offer his expertise and explain how new technology could allow immediate treatment with better results.

“Dr. Bhanusali gave us hope that everything would be alright and that we could make real progress in a few months rather than a few years,” said Robert Walker, Bridger’s father. “After going above and beyond to provide support, encouragement, and expert care, he reinforced our appreciation for the life-altering care that dermatologists provide.”

Bridger and his family traveled to New York City, where he received the first in a series of scar treatments that will help him regain his smile.

“While the world and I celebrated Bridger’s incredible heroism and bravery, I also thought about how the scars from this attack could affect him physically, mentally, and emotionally,” said Dr. Bhanusali. “Working with Bridger and his family has been so rewarding, and I’m grateful to collaborate with Dr. Maughan so that Bridger can continue his care closer to home.”

Coordinating Bridger’s treatments to ease his recovery process was a top priority for Dr. Bhanusali and Utah-based dermatologist Dr. Maughan.

“Despite being across the country, Dr. Bhanusali and I are working together closely to ensure Bridger gets the best treatment possible and that he and his family are comfortable with his care,” said Dr. Maughan. “After everything Bridger and his family have been through, we want to give him every opportunity for his scars to look their best.”

The AAD created the Patient Care Heroes program to recognize physicians who transform patients’ lives by utilizing their expertise and collaborating with other physicians to treat serious skin disease.

“The Academy applauds Drs. Bhanusali and Maughan for going above and beyond in their collaborative care of Bridger,” said board-certified dermatologist Bruce H. Thiers, MD, FAAD, president of the AAD. “Their work to help him and his family regain a sense of normalcy is a shining example of the life-changing care dermatologists provide.”

To learn more about the work of Drs. Bhanusali and Maughan, visit www.aad.org/skinserious/stories-robert-walker.

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About SkinSerious
SkinSerious is a campaign by the American Academy of Dermatology that highlights dermatologists’ role as partners in the health care system, providing expert care for serious conditions. To learn more, visit SkinSerious.org.

About the AAD
Headquartered in Rosemont, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology, founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 20,000 physicians worldwide, the AAD is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair, and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair, and nails. For more information, contact the AAD at 1-888-462-DERM (3376) or aad.org. Follow the AAD on Facebook (American Academy of Dermatology), Twitter (@AADskin) or YouTube (AcademyofDermatology).