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Catfish Fin Pierces Teen's Neck

A teen survives after being impaled by a catfish fin.
A Maumelle teenager is recovering after a catfish fin impaled him, piercing his neck on Father's Day.

What started as a little Father's day fun took a drastic turn Sunday evening.

"I was cleaning the fish and decided to go and play with the fish and kind of hit him on the face. He jerked and the fish jerked and it impaled him," says Daniel Menchaca, the victim's dad.

In a split second, the catfish the Menchaca's brought home to eat for dinner was inside their son's neck instead.

"I knew it had sharp fins, never knew it would do something like that," he added.

It was a freak accident with possibly fatal consequences.

"I was kind of mad," says Aiden Menchaca.

"Please God don't take him from me," Melissa Menchac says she prayed as the family called for help.

Maumelle emergency crews rushed to the scene in roughly three minutes.

"This is a first for me. In my career I have seen fish hooks in different parts of people. Either they were cleaning it or baiting it but never a barb from a catfish," says Maumelle Fire Chief George Glenn.

The family says when crews arrived the fin was a centimeter from Aiden's jugular vein and the fish was still alive.

They waited 30 minutes for it to die before they could clip the fish with wire cutters and send Aiden to the hospital in a helicopter.

One day later the fin is out, but their close call with a catfish left a lasting lesson.

"Changed my mind not to play with them," Aiden says.

Aiden says he's a little sore and the family is still a bit shaken up, but mostly they're grateful.

"I feel fortunate very fortunate, glad he is still with us," Daniel says.


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