For weeks, teachers had been accusing Hector Flores, Jr. of deliberately disrupting the second grade at his Bronx elementary school by squeaking like a toy duck at inappropriate moments.
Until someone blew the whistle on the real problem: He had a toy stuck in his lung.
The whistling noisemaker, which belonged to a rubber duck, got stuck there a month or so ago when Flores was playing in a pool. He started squawking about two weeks ago whenever he laughed.
Hector's mom first noticed the weird whistling noise during a shopping trip, she told WABC-TV.
"I said, 'Did you whistle?' 'Yes mommy I whistled.' A man at the bodega said the boy whistled," his mother, who was not identified by name, told the station.
Hector's parents promptly took him to Bronx Lebanon Hospital, but doctors there claimed his squeaking was in his head and gave him pills for a stomach problem.
"They said he didn't have anything. That it was probably a psychological issue with the child. They concluded the child had a lot of fecal matter," Hector Flores Sr. said, according to KSL.com.
Hector's dad didn't accept the diagnosis. Knowing that a squeaky wheel gets the grease, he made a tape of his son squeaking and squawking.
This time, doctors took the child's dilemma seriously and did a 45-minute operation with an endoscopy where they found the duck whistle stuck in an artery near his lung and removed it, Geobeats reported.
A spokesperson for the hospital said the incidient is under investigation.
This isn't the first case of a child being misdiagnosed after swallowing something bizarre.
Earlier this year, doctors in Utah removed a Lego piece from the nose of 6-year-old Isaak Lasson. It had reportedly been stuck for three years and was responsible for several sinus problems.