Dermatologists treat young dog bite victim
After six-year-old Bridger Walker suffered severe bites while protecting his younger sister from a dog attack, dermatologists stepped in to provide innovative, life-changing scar treatment.
Robert Walker's story
When my six-year-old son Bridger suffered severe bites while protecting his younger sister from a dog attack, my initial concern was whether he would survive the surgery. Once the procedure was successfully completed and his face was stitched up, my family’s focus shifted to how he would handle the physical and mental recovery.
While the story of the attack and Bridger’s heroism quickly went viral, my wife and I were in uncharted territory during the recovery process.
Shortly after returning to our Wyoming home, New York City-based dermatologist Dhaval Bhanusali, MD, reached out to my family and offered his expertise, which was exactly what we needed.
We were initially advised by other physicians against pursuing any type of treatment for Bridger’s scars until a year passed, but Dr. Bhanusali explained how new technology allowed treatment to begin immediately and shared research about the value of early intervention. Most importantly, he gave us hope that everything would be alright. We could make real progress in a few months rather than a few years.
My family soon traveled to his office to begin a series of laser treatments: one to correct the coloring of the scar and another to resurface the skin.
Because the process is especially intense and scary for someone as young as Bridger, we constantly made sure we moved at a comfortable pace for him. Going forward, treatments will be performed closer to our home by Utah dermatologist Cory Maughan, DO, FAAD, in collaboration with Dr. Bhanusali.
After going above and beyond to provide support, encouragement, and expert care, Dr. Bhanusali reinforced our appreciation for the life-changing care that dermatologists provide. My family will always be grateful to him for finding an innovative treatment solution to help our son. Bridger won’t be constantly reminded of the attack when looking in the mirror and can return to his childhood, nearly unscarred.
The dermatologist's perspective
“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. Working with Bridger and his family has been so rewarding and I’m grateful to collaborate with my dermatologist colleague, Dr. Cory Maughan in Utah, to continue to improve Bridger’s life.”
─ Dhaval Bhanusali, MD, FAAD, Hudson Dermatology and Laser Surgery
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