What started out as a harmless catfish joke during a Father’s Day outing in Maumelle, Arkansas soon turned into a deadly situation for a 13-year-old boy, named Aiden, and his mother, Melissa Menchaca.
In a practical joke involving a live catfish, Menchaca tried to get the catfish to cooperate and give her son a “kiss”; however, the fish panicked and wriggle free from her grip and smacked Aiden on the neck.
Thank goodness the catfish wasn’t as big as the six-foot long one that was caught in Spain in May of this year, otherwise this story could have been even more frightening.
Although the fish hitting Aiden might sound like an insignificant action, it actually resulted in the sharp spine of the catfish impaling Aiden’s neck only centimeters away from a main artery.
Upon seeing this happen, his mother was ready to deal with the spine herself and pull it out, however, when she took a closer look, she realized that there was a “bulging artery” next to the entry point.
Realizing the gravity of the wound, Menchaca called the paramedics and tried her best to keep her son calm and comfortable until they arrived, which, according to the worried mom, seemed like a “lifetime” until they actually got there.
However, when the paramedics arrived, there was little they could do until the fish calmed down and stopped thrashing about. This meant that they had to wait a total of 30 minutes before they could successfully cut the fin and then airlift Aiden to hospital to have the rest of the spine removed.
The dangerous barb in question could have come from the dorsal fin, located at the back, or from the pectoral fins, which are found at the side. These sharp spines are often associated with poison glands, and yet people aren’t normally hurt if they come into contact with them.
That being said, not many people are in the unfortunate position of having one of these barbs so close to their arteries.
On the other hand, barbs or not, catfish seem pretty scary when you see the video of them hunting pigeons in France; therefore avoiding ‘playing’ with them altogether seems like a golden rule regardless of whether you’re near the fins or not.
Despite the deadly encounter, on this occasion the ending was a happy one considering just how close to death the young teenager actually was. The one good thing that can be taken from this incident, if you can really call it that, is that Aiden, and others, have been able to learn a valuable lesson about catfish.
So the next time you think that a catfish joke might be a good idea, remember this story and reconsider your actions.
[Image via GrindTV]