Maumelle boy stabbed in the neck by catfish barb

MAUMELLE (KATV) - What started as a successful fishing outing for a Maumelle boy ended in a near-death experience. The 13-year-old was stabbed in the neck with a catfish barb. It happened Sunday night at the boy's home after going out fishing with his parents for Father's Day.

"I thought I was going to die," said Aiden Menchaca.

It was a Father's Day that turned into a nightmare for the Menchaca family.

"I didn't hurt until I realized it was in my neck," said Aiden. "When it got stuck I screamed like a girl as loud as I can."

Aiden's mother, Melissa, was holding the fish when suddenly it jumped.

"I wanted to give him a kiss and the fish flopped around and it just smacked him on the neck," she said.

But pulling the barb out wasn't so simple.

"I was going to pull it out and then I saw it was in this artery," she said. "It was like bulging out."

They immediately called police and held the catfish still while they waited for what seemed like an eternity.

"It seemed like forever for 911 to come," said Melissa. "It was a nightmare."

Paramedics arrived and were surprised by what they saw.

"They were shocked they were like, 'whoa, what's going on here," said Melissa.

After waiting thirty minutes for the fish to finally remain still they cut the fin and airlifted Aiden to Arkansas Children's Hospital. Melissa and her husband, both new to Arkansas, had to drive separately.

"We still had to put the GPS and we still got lost," said Melissa.

All the while, Melissa prayed for one thing.

"Please God don't take him from me," she said.

Doctors were able to pull out the barb without doing much damage. But doctors found it was just a couple of centimeters away from a main artery.

As for Aiden, he walked away with a new nickname.

"When we were on the stretcher they were talking about my nickname being catfish," he said.

And he also learned an important lesson learned.

"Not to mess around with fish," he said.

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