CORPUS CHRISTI – At Driscoll Children’s Hospital, all you need is love. On a T-shirt. In 20 different languages.
Such diversity is evident in the latest T-shirt the Driscoll Children’s Hospital Gift Shop is selling, which is a new heart design, surrounded by love written 20 different ways.
The original artwork was created by John Brownlee, MD, a Driscoll cardiologist, who was inspired by art he saw in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was a painting of a heart, which had pens lying next to the artwork. People were encouraged to write in “The first time I fell in love ….”
The self-professed artistic “dabbler” said the “idea of other people contributing to the artwork came from that.” Proud of the diversity at Driscoll, Dr. Brownlee asked fellow physicians to write love on the artwork in their native language. “The other physicians just willingly did it, and that was fun,” he said. Dr. Brownlee signed love in English and Greek.
“It’s a wonderful example of the caring nature of the Driscoll physicians from all over the world,” he added.
Since 2014, Dr. Brownlee has donated his artwork to the American Heart Association’s Heart Ball. He was especially pleased with the 2018 donation, which is the painting featured on the T-shirt. “This is the best one. I’ve done a lot of other hearts, but this is the best one,” he said.
Describing art as a “meditative practice,” Dr. Brownlee said “It’s important for physicians to have other interests outside of work. It helps make the world a better place.” He has been painting since his daughter started taking lessons 20 years ago.
“An accident in the hallway,” as Dr. Brownlee described it, is how the painting became a T-shirt. He ran into Kathy Kramer, the Driscoll Children’s Hospital Gift Shop Manager, who explained she was looking for new ideas for T-shirts. Kramer was happy to share Dr. Brownlee’s heartfelt devotion to the power of love.
“We love the story that Dr. Brownlee’s art tells: how diverse a community we are here at Driscoll Children’s Hospital. This is something new for us to try as we generally feature a patient’s artwork on our T-shirts. I think this is the beauty of the T-shirts we sell – they always tell a story,” said Kramer.
“Introducing this heart artwork is important during February, since it is Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Month. We hope to carry this design for a good amount of time. Right now we carry it in adult and youth sizes, with the adult T-shirts available in short- and long-sleeve,” she said.
Short-sleeve adult T-shirts cost $18, and long-sleeve adult T-shirts cost $24. Children’s T-shirts are available in short-sleeve only (small, medium, large) and cost $16. For more information, call the Gift Shop at (361) 694-5013 or go to www.driscollchildrens.org/giftshop.