- OccupationManaging Director, Business Development, Global Markets
- CompanyBNY Mellon
- LocationNew York, N.Y.
At age 16, John Taylor Babbitt was a three-sport athlete, a dedicated student, and an active member of his Chatham, N.J., church youth ministry. He was “larger than life,” says his father, David. While playing basketball at church one evening in 2006, John Taylor died of sudden cardiac arrest, the result of an undiagnosed genetic disorder. Since then, David and his wife, JoAnne Taylor Babbitt, have championed greater access to automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, which can help someone’s heart re-establish an effective rhythm after a heart attack. “The technology has become so superior that when you open it, it tells you exactly what to do,” David explains, likening the device to having a fire extinguisher at the ready. The couple led a successful push to pass New Jersey’s Good Samaritan Law, which protects people who try to save a life by using a defibrillator from liability. Through the John Taylor Babbitt Foundation, they have sponsored AED training for more than 350 people, and granted funds to schools and community-based organizations to purchase the machines. The Babbitts are now lobbying for a law to integrate CPR and AED training into the health curriculum for seniors in high school.