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Girl who choked on chip recovering rapidly

An undated file photo of Alana Kiceina, 10,

An undated file photo of Alana Kiceina, 10, who has been upgraded to good condition at Stony Brook University Hospital after she went into cardiac arrest on the front lawn of her Mastic home on April 25, 2012. Credit: Handout

A 10-year-old Mastic girl who went into cardiac arrest as she choked on a chip last week is recovering rapidly, but still does not remember the accident, her father said Monday.

"She's 110 percent better," Alan Kiceina said of his daughter, Alana.

"It's like the way she was before," he said after visiting his daughter at Stony Brook Long Island Children's Hospital. He spoke about his daughter a few hours after the hospital said her condition had been upgraded to "good," from "critical."

She was breathing on her own, officials said.

"She's overwhelmed at what happened to her and still can't understand it," Kiceina said. "It was truly a miracle that there was no permanent damage."

He said she was afraid to go to sleep because she might not wake up.

"We had to talk to her, explain it will not happen. This is an isolated incident," he said.

He said he would make sure that Alana underwent further testing to ensure that there was no underlying medical condition that might have exacerbated the choking.

Alana collapsed after a tortilla chip became stuck in her throat while she played with the family dog Wednesday on the front lawn of their home.

She has contracted pneumonia and is being treated with antibiotics, her mother, Joan, said. The parents said no date has been set for their daughter's release, but they hope to have her home Friday -- her 11th birthday.

A day after the accident, Dr. Daniel Sloniewsky, a pediatric intensive care specialist, said Alana was on a ventilator to help her breathe.

The first Suffolk police officer on the scene, 17-year-veteran David Frabizio, said CPR and a defibrillator were used to revive her. Frabizio said that when he arrived, a passerby, Shawn Mitchell, 35, of Ridge, was trying to revive Alana using CPR.

Officials said Mitchell's quick action helped save the girl's life, and the family said he stopped by the hospital Sunday with roses for Alana.

Alan Kiceina said his faith has only grown since his daughter's close call.

"I believe in God," he said. "I believe in him a little more now."

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