Matthew Kelly isn't just a hero -- he's one lucky boy.
The 12-year-old Louisiana native is one of the very few kids who can say he was attacked by an alligator and not only survived, but also walked out of the water with relatively minor injuries. On Sept. 6, he was spearfishing with his father, Scott, in Lake Pontchartrain in eastern New Orleans when the attack occurred, reported Fox 4.
"It just happened way too fast," Matthew told ABC News. "It was like a sneak attack. I thought it was my dad just playing around with me, but it was actually an alligator."
They estimated that the gator was approximately 10 feet long, and Matthew said that it miraculously let go of his leg after he grabbed its mouth and pried it open to free himself -- his instinctual reaction, according to WAPT.
"Maybe he hit something sensitive, maybe he hit its eye, I'm not real sure why it let go," Scott told ABC News. "All I know is he's the luckiest boy I know."
He was taken to Slidell Memorial Hospital following the attack, where he underwent surgery and received 50 stitches around his left knee where the gator left deep bite marks. He has since returned home to complete the remainder of his recovery, reported WNCN.
It may not sound like the fairest of fights, but Matthew is alive, recovering, and will be able to share this story for years to come.