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Homage to HealersHomage to Healers
John Y. Templeton, III, MD

Image what courage it took to place hands on a beating heart, an act that could restore the precious gift of life to countless thousands! I carry the fingerprints of this great man in my own heart and salute this gentle healer who challenged the boundaries of the known and entered the realm reserved for creators of dynamic new knowledge.

Diagnosed with acute rheumatic heart disease at the age of 16, I was confined to bed and home schooling. I graduated at the top of a class that I had never met and watched my fellow top ten graduates receive full scholarships to leading universities, while I was wished "good luck!"

Facing a lifetime as a totally bored cardiac recluse, I soon rebelled and found employment in the clinical laboratories of Jefferson under the renowned pathologist (and future Jeff president) Peter A. Herbut, MD. I ignored my disease and after awhile I started coughing up blood. X-rays led to consultations with cardiologists. The prognosis was grim: severe advanced mitral stenosis; death in about a year.

Mary Anne Bartley
Mary Anne Bartley
at the time of her surgery. Convinced that she would die, her friends urged her to have a formal portrait made.


John Y. Templeton, III, MD, ScD, LLD

John Y. Templeton, III, MD, ScD, LLD, in 1967, when he was named the Samuel D. Gross Professor of Surgery at Jefferson Medical College.

This photograph originally appeared in the Jefferson Medical College Alumni Bulletin, v.16, n. 3 (Spring 1967), p.37.

Dr. Herbut spoke with me about the groundbreaking surgery going on at Jeff by Dr. Templeton and suggested I consider this surgery, as I had very little to lose. So I went off to the medical library, read what little there was available on this surgery, and made up my mind to do it. When I told Dr. Herbut, I was flabbergasted at his reply: "Kid, don't do it. I've seen too many perfect surgical results on my autopsy table."

I went off to surgery the next day. Templeton performed mitral commissurotomy, a now archaic, but nonetheless miraculous surgery that gave me four decades of wonderful life. I was back to work in one month -- a full six months sooner than anticipated -- and I haven't stopped since.

Art and an almost new heart gave me the vocation to bring the healing powers of art everywhere I could reach.

Over the years, every time I would meet Dr. Herbut, he always greeted me with "When are you coming back to Jefferson?" That day has finally arrived and what a joyful homecoming it is!

Homage to John Y. Templeton III, MD, depicts myriad surgical gloves gloriously traversing the human heart and honors the incomparable vision and courage it took to become "Healer Laureate" and my Hero.

--Mary Anne Bartley


Joyful reunion

During the fall of 2004, Dr. Templeton visited the live show of works included in this online exhibit, and enjoyed a reunion with his grateful patient.

Mary Anne Bartley, John Y. Templeton, III, MD,
and Emanuel E. Garcia, MD

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