Nervous first-time mom Audrey Solomon found out her OB-GYN doctor was leaving—something that did not help her concerns in the moment.
Audrey, an organized human resource manager, processed the news then asked for a random pick of another OB-GYN at UTMB Health, figuring she could make it work.
The random doctor turned out to be perfect for Audrey and her concerns.
“She made me feel right at home,” Audrey said. “She heard everything I said.”
Audrey has a rare genetic condition, something she needed this new doctor to understand from the beginning. Her doctor researched the condition—nail patella syndrome— to know what to look out for, then set Audrey up with numerous precautions
to follow. The doctor monitored the baby a little bit more regularly than normal.
“She made sure that I was comfortable and had exactly the care that I needed to make sure that my baby and I were both safe at all times,” Audrey said.
Nail patella syndrome is an uncommon genetic condition that affects joints and can cause bone deformity. Later, it can cause possible kidney problems or eye problems.
It can also be inherited.
“My daughter did inherit it,” Audrey said. “I was the first in my family to have it. It was just kind of a random mutation.”
It wasn’t just this OB-GYN who reassured and cared for Audrey. Many UTMB providers have brought the same level of kindness and attentiveness to Audrey, who describes herself as someone who will be forever grateful to UTMB.
“We've had nothing but great experiences with all of our doctors, and I couldn't be more thankful for it.”
Maisie Solomon was born in 2021 at UTMB Health Clear Lake Campus. Her mom Audrey was born at John Sealy Hospital 30 years ago on the UTMB Health Galveston Campus.
“My daughter and I were both born with bilateral clubfoot,” Audrey said. “I am very familiar with the genetics team and the orthopedics team at UTMB, and we love everybody—all the teams. They're awesome.”
As a child, Audrey spent time in the hospital because of a club foot and other bone-related issues. She saw Dr. David Yngve, a UTMB Health pediatric orthopedic specialist, throughout her childhood.
“My daughter sees him now,” she said. “He doesn't accept new patients that I'm aware of for a case like hers, but he did because she was like a legacy patient. I really couldn't have been more grateful. We love it.”
Dr. Yngve is now chief of Pediatric Orthopedics and Scoliosis Surgery at John Sealy Hospital.
“Mom was my patient as a baby and now her baby is my patient,” Dr. Yngve said. “That is pretty special for a doctor.”
At 16 months old, Maisie started to stand a little bit with support and then took her first unassisted steps.
“She's a little bit more behind with the mobility stuff because of her feet,” Audrey said. “But she's getting there and getting stronger, and she's starting to cruise holding on to coffee table and couches.”
Cory Solomon, Audrey’s husband and Maisie’s dad, kept a close eye on his daughter’s movements around their living room.
“Growing up, I never had a family of doctors that I could always rely on, but as soon as I married Audrey and we started this journey with UTMB, I did,” Cory said. “I never knew that you could have a sense of community with your medical
Both Maisie and Audrey have slightly crooked fingers and fingernails as well as bilateral club foot. “She is a carbon copy of me,” Audrey said.
Audrey knows Maisie will face challenges throughout her life. Maisie has already had to wear casts on her feet and a brace for part of the day. Her kneecaps might not develop.
“I've always felt like I could do anything I wanted to do,” Audrey said. “And I hope that Maisie feels the same way. With our care team at UTMB, we are confident that we will have the support we need every step of the way in any challenge
she might face.”
During Audrey’s final performance as a drum major when she was at Texas City High School, the pain in her elbow grew so intense, she told her parents she needed to see Dr. Ygnve right away. A month later, she had surgery on her elbow.
“UTMB is definitely part of my story,” Audrey said. “For me, it's all I've ever known.”
Even in college, when she was away from home, she didn't go to a doctor where she lived at that time. Instead, she made trips home to see family and also to take care of medical appointments.
When she got pregnant with Maisie, Audrey thought she already knew and had done her own research about her condition.
“When Maisie was born, I kickstarted my own self-care that I should have truly been doing all along for nail patella syndrome, and we both started seeing the genetics team,” Audrey said.
One of the first things her doctor did was set up a bone density scan.
“I didn’t know that bone density was a concern, and I didn’t think anything would come from it,” Audrey said. “My scan showed that I have very low bone density—osteopenia—that is not very common for my age but
more common for nail patella syndrome patients at my age. Most folks don’t find out about bone density issues until they have broken a bone, but my plan of care allowed me to find out now and start corrective action now.”
Audrey will have a new bone density scan at the one-year mark to see if it has improved.
“To have my daughter join this community and for it to be a part of her journey is all really special,” Audrey said.
“We have such a great care team and the community behind it. I keep saying community, but it really is just like a family. People I've known my whole life, we are now bringing into her life. And there are new care teams. Everybody's great. There's
a very, very high level of comfort with UTMB that makes me not want to go anywhere else.”