CHATHAM, NJ - David Babbitt was named one of Fortune's "Heroes of the 500 2014" on Wednesday for his work with Automated External Defibrillators, known as AEDs, and pushing for greater access to the devices in public places to save lives.
In 2006, 16-year-old John Taylor Babbitt was playing basketball at St. Patrick's Church in Chatham when he died of sudden cardiac arrest due to an undiagnosed genetic disorder.
Since then, Babbitt and his wife, JoAnne Taylor Babbitt have worked to gain greater public access to AEDs, helping people survive sudden heart attacks. The family is responsible for placing the life-saving devices at playing fields in Chatham .
The Babbitt's were instrumental in the passage of New Jersey's Good Samaritan Law, which protects people from liability when they use AEDs to help people in distress.
Through the John Taylor Babbitt Foundation, the Babbitt's 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.