Woman behind ‘Billy and Me’ battling life-threatening disease

PALM BEACH DAILY NEWS | Cindy Sjostrom
Terry and Hilary Teachout’s favorite winter retreat is Sanibel Island, where they strolled the beach last January. Courtesy of Terry Teachout
Twelve years ago, Terry Teachout walked into a Baltimore restaurant and fell in love. At 49, he’d given up on love, as had Hilary, the woman he met that night and married two years later.

“We had accepted that we would spend the rest of our lives alone and suddenly, we were together,” said Teachout, whose play Billy and Me is premiering at Palm Beach Dramaworks in West Palm Beach.

But it wasn’t all unshadowed bliss.

Two years before they met, she was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, a type of high blood pressure that affects the arteries of the lungs and the right side of the heart. The condition restricts blood flow and starves the body of oxygen. If left untreated, it’s fatal.

At the time, Hilary Teachout’s life expectancy was two to five years. New medications have extended her life, but now she needs a double lung transplant and heart surgery. Continue reading
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