Cardiac Arrest Survivor Reunites With Holy Cross Health And Pompano Beach Fire Rescue Teams Who Saved His Life

In recognition of National Trauma Survivors Day and during National Hospital Week, Holy Cross Health hosted a heartwarming reunion between cardiac arrest survivor Ken Sposato, Pompano Beach Fire Rescue and the Holy Cross Health team who are responsible for saving his life after he was transported to the hospital in February.

The Sposato family with Holy Cross Health physicians
Holy Cross Health patient Ken Sposato with the First Responders of Pompano Beach Fire Rescue 12
Ken and Karen Sposato with Holy Cross Health medical team members

(Photo credit: Holy Cross Health)

“I thank everyone for saving me,” Lauderdale-By-The-Sea resident Sposato said. “Holy Cross has the best care anywhere. Everyone was very professional, knew their job and did it well. You can imagine my family was so fragile during this difficult time, but [Holy Cross] was always there for them and provided comfort and support beyond the call of duty.”

Sposato celebrated his 76th birthday at the end of May thanks to the team that induced hypothermia when he suffered a cardiac arrest. Tracey Melhuish, MSN, R.N., CCRN, Clinical Practice Specialist at Holy Cross Health, explained how Targeted Temperature Management (TTM) can help some patients regain brain function following cardiac arrest.

TTM is a treatment that is used to lower and or maintain a target body temperature of some patients who suffer cardiac arrest once their heart begins beating again, helping some patients regain brain function and increasing the likelihood they will wake up. The procedure consists of lowering the patient’s body temperature to 32-36°C. This is achieved by placing an intravascular catheter in the body. After 24 hours, the body is gradually rewarmed using the same intravascular catheter and equipment rewarming the body slowly at 0.25°C to a target of 36.1°C.

“It’s a great honor to be here celebrating this outcome. This is a win for the entire system here in Broward County,” said John P. Cunha, D.O., emergency medicine physician at Holy Cross Health. “Broward County residents should know that from the moment you call 9-1-1 to those dispatchers walking you through CPR to getting the medics to take over the care, then getting you to an appropriate hospital, it takes every step of the chain of survival to be precise. In this particular instance, it was precise.”

After recovering in the Holy Cross ICU and the Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit, Sposato was discharged and is currently living independently at home with his wife Karen Sposato. Iman Dabiri, M.D., neurocritical care intensivist; Matthew Whitton, EMS Chief, Pompano Beach Fire Rescue; and others involved in his lifesaving care were also present.


A member of Trinity Health, Fort Lauderdale-based Holy Cross Hospital, dba Holy Cross Health, is a full-service, not-for-profit, Catholic, teaching hospital operating in the spirit of the Sisters of Mercy. Holy Cross has been recognized for six Types of Care in U.S. News and World Report’s 2023-24 Best Hospital rankings and was named among the 2024 America’s Best-In-State Hospitals by Newsweek. Through strategic collaborations and a commitment to being a person-centered, transforming, healing presence, the 557-bed hospital offers progressive inpatient, outpatient and community outreach services and clinical research trials to serve as our community’s trusted health partner for life. Holy Cross Health also encompasses Holy Cross HealthPlex outpatient facility, urgent care centers and more than 40 Holy Cross Medical Group physician practices. To learn more about Holy Cross Health, visit Connect @holycrossfl.