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Girl who choked will get heart device

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 after a chip became stuck in her throat last week will have a defibrillator inserted into her as a precautionary measure, her family said Wednesday.

Alana Kiceina was transferred Tuesday from Stony Brook Long Island Children's Hospital to The Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan and will have the device implanted Thursday, the family said.

A defibrillator emits a mild electrical impulse to stabilize an irregular heartbeat.

"The doctors weren't happy that she choked and that was just it," her father, Alan Kiceina, said. "They wanted to make sure it wasn't something else. They believe there may have been some other event, so we'll put in the defibrillator tomorrow so this doesn't happen again."

The father said he still hopes to have his daughter return home by Friday, her 11th birthday.

Alana was rushed to Stony Brook last Wednesday after she collapsed and went into cardiac arrest on the front lawn of her home while chasing the family dog and eating tortilla chips. She was in critical condition for a few days, but her condition was upgraded to good this past weekend.

During her stay at Stony Brook, she had trouble falling asleep because she feared she would not wake up, her father said earlier this week. "We had to talk to her, explain it will not happen. This is an isolated incident," he said.

Kiceina said doctors were not certain whether there was a secondary condition that might have contributed to his 'yes' or 'no.' It's like: 'This might be an electrical thing that happened,' " in the heart, he said.

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He said Wednesday that the doctor who will be implanting the defibrillator tried to reassure the young girl by telling her the device would be like "a guardian angel," that would help ensure she would not lose consciousness again.

Kiceina said the procedure would be done by Dr. Barry Love, director of the Congenital Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Mount Sinai. In an email, Love said he was awaiting the required permission from the family before he could comment about the case.

"In a weird way, it's a blessing this thing happened this way," Kiceina said. "If it happened somewhere else, who knows?"

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