Jefferson Award Winner: Hilary Boyer - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Jefferson Award Winner: Hilary Boyer

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Spring Valley (WQOW)- An itch of any kind is annoying but a certain type can be deadly. Hilary Boyer is a mom who is spreading the word about a disorder that can happen during pregnancy, called ICP.

"The last thing that you want to find out when you're pregnant is that your own body is killing your baby," says Hilary Boyer, a Spring Valley woman, who is spreading awareness about an itch that can become deadly.

Flipping though a photo album she made, pictures help narrate the memories. "I ignored it for a while," she recalls, "And then I couldn't ignore it anymore."

What started as a twinge became an itch so intense; no amount of scratching would bring relief. Hilary was clawing the skin off her own feet and says the itch felt toxic. "By the time I was 35 weeks I wasn't sleeping anymore, every joint in my body felt like it was going to explode. The nurse took one look at me and said 'You have to see your doctor'. And they brought the doctor in and he admitted me to the hospital immediately."

Her doctors decided she needed to deliver right away. Hilary remembers a feeling of dread. "I was just praying, please come out screaming." After a pause she says, "He wasn't breathing. He was blue. He was completely non-responsive. After minutes went by I finally heard a tiny little cry and it was the best noise I ever heard."

Hilary Boyer is an itchy mom. The symptoms of ICP (Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy) were uncomfortably clear in all three of her pregnancies.

"I had never heard of it," she says, "And that's generally the case. People don't know that an itch can be deadly, I sure didn't."

To help mommies-to-be navigate ICP Hilary is putting on paper what's she's learned "I'm working on a book proposal," she shares.

She's had practice penning a first draft. Hilary manages a group called ICP Care (formerly "Itchy Moms"). "What we pass on to our members either comes from our advisory board or from reputable medical journals," she explains.

Hilary was brought on board by the group's founder, Donna Benavides, who also nominated Hilary for the Jefferson Award.

To visit ICP Care online click here. You can find the group's Facebook page here.

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