Misty Ann (Reilly) Barker

      Born August 2, 1982 ~Heaven Bound April 7, 2002  

     Animation01j     Angel2l    Angel2lAnimation01j


Misty You Are Forever In Our Hearts  Angel2l

Misty passed 33 days after she married my son Pfc.  Johnny Barker at Ft. Bragg NC (Fayetteville).

                  Their love was perfect.


My name is Laura Brown and my daughter-in-law, Misty, passed away at
19 years of age, 33 days after she married my son, 07 April 2002. It
was the most heart wrenching tragedy her family or my son had gone
through at that point. They met the day he shipped out for the Army
on 28 August 2001 and they wrote letters by the score to each other.
Then when he graduated from basic on 09 November 2001 my daughter and
I jumped in the truck (we live in Cody, Wyoming) to drive 1450 miles
to go see him graduate (not knowing if we would even get to give him
a hug or if he would be shipped out right away to his next training
duty). We stopped by in Denver to pick up this young woman we had
never met (whom Johnny had told us was his girlfriend) and she
BRAVELY went with us. We spent the next 9 days together laughing,
crying, and having just a wonderful time. Johnny, as it turned out
got to spend most of 5 days with us!  Was wonderful. That was the
first time they had gotten to spend any actual time together.

Then we went home on about the 13th or so, and he came home for
Christmas for nearly 2 weeks. She picked him up at the airport in
Denver and kept him for a day or 2, then brought him clear up to Cody
for Christmas with his family (about a 500 mile drive one way), and
turned around and drove all the way home by herself through desolate
ol' Wyoming all by herself on Christmas Eve 2 days later. Then, she
got him back on the 28th until 04 January 2002, when he had to return
to base in Missouri. He finished all his training on Valentine's day
2002 and on 28 Feb 02 Misty moved out to his permanent station, Ft.
Bragg, NC. Johnny is a paratrooper in the 18th Airborne Division.

They had become engaged back at Christmastime and were planning a
wedding for 28 August 2004 (*yeah right*, I thought...knew they would
NEVER wait that long...). Sure enough, true to my gut feeling, they
eloped on 05 March 02 - a WHOLE 5 days after she moved out there -
and she became ill the night of 06 Apr 02, and passed away at about
4:45 PM 07 April 02. Was sick actually less than 20 hours. The phone
calls from Johnny telling me what was going on (once they actually
got to see a doctor), that her lungs were full of blood, and that she
was suddenly on a ventilator in a medicated coma, was too much for
him being 2200 miles from home. He was so lost and alone. The people
in the Army were wonderful to him, supported him 1000%, but he lost
his soul mate and it totally broke his heart - shattered it.

The next day he had to return to their apartment to pick out clothes
to bury her in, picking her favorite "going out" comfy clothes -
chenille sweater and gabardine black slacks - she was beautiful. Then
he had to pick out a coffin. 20 years old and picking out his new
bride's coffin. That is what I envision immediately when I think of
this whole thing, when he was alone taking care of all the
arrangements. The entire funeral arrangements between the N. Carolina
end, shipping her body back home, and the services / flowers / etc.
in Denver ran him into a debt of nearly $20,000. And he makes about
38-cents an hour we figured out, since he is in the Army 24/7, with
seldom any time off. But that was nothing. She was to have the best,
and she did and she also had the best marriage - they had never even
had their first fight! They had gone shopping the day she became
sick, buying new clothes, went out to a nice dinner at the Outback,
got some movies, went home and made love, popped in a movie, and
that's when she started feeling just sort of achy all over. She had
been in a bad car accident a year or so before (less than a year I
believe) and she needed surgery on her shoulder. So, neck and
shoulder pain were a nearly everyday occurrence for her so it was no
big deal, but all her joints started to ache and she started feeling
hot then chills.

Johnny called me at about 12:30 AM their time to see what I thought
and honestly my first thought was meningitis only because I am in
medicine myself (a transcriptionist) and the symptoms just sounded
too perfect. But! I had to remember she always had the shoulder and
neck pain and her headache was not that bad and she could turn her
head side to side fine at that point. She could keep herself hydrated
as she was not yet nauseous, so I told him that as long as she can
keep herself hydrated throughout the night they might be able to wait
until AM to go to the doc but she really needed to get in. I just had
a bad feeling, but reserved it to myself because it also sounded like
old fashioned aching flu.

But, they went to the ER anyway that night, was told it would
probably be about a 12 hour wait, and they waited 4 hours. Nobody -
no triage nurse or clerk, not a soul - came to see how she was doing
or get more info about her symptoms, and after 4 hours she could not
stand the misery of sitting in a waiting room full of people. She
begged Johnny to take her home and so he did. Later that afternoon I
called to see how she was doing and she was finally sleeping some,
but he had just checked her and he thought she felt like the fever
was increasing. Of course, they had no thermometer. I told him she
HAS to get back in and be seen and he said she refused to go sit
there again. So I told him to call the ambulance, which he then did.

Just as the EMT's got there she started developing the rash and
started to vomit a little bit and she Coded about 10 - 15 minutes
after she got to the ER. Johnny called me to tell me that her lungs
were full of blood but they had no idea what it was and he was
terrified. I called Misty's father, whom I had never met, to let him
know that she was very, very ill - possibly gravely ill - and asked
for any family history or personal history he could give. He said she
had had a really bad urinary tract infection before and she got
really sick from it because she didn't get it treated. He thought
that might be what it was. I tried to explain to him that would not
fill her lungs with blood - was there any family history of any blood
disorders, anything. Nope. Sure it was a UTI. I called Johnny back
and told him what her Dad had said, and in that short amount of time
(maybe 10 minutes - probably less) they had told Johnny they didn't
think she would make it. I could NOT believe they would tell him
that - she was 19!! This couldn't be true!!! She had the flu for
Pete's sake. But he insisted and quoted the doctors, and I know what
I knew at that point...

I told him to get in her room and sit by her bed and hold her as much
as he could and tell her how much he loves her and how he is fighting
for her because he knows she is too weak to fight very hard herself,
but that he has to fight. She was in a coma and nobody knows how much
people know or hear in a coma so tell her everything wonderful and be
with her. DON'T let them kick him out. He did that, and 20-30 minutes
later she was gone. Just like that.

Guess that is my story. I have lived through tragedy, deal with
tragedy everyday in my work, and cry for people in some of the
reports that I do, but that was more than I could take and with my
baby being so far from home. He came home 3 days later, and was home
for 3 weeks. He was kind of OK when he went back, and just stayed with
his sergeant, some specialist friends etc. until he could get a
barracks room. My dear friend from Knoxville, 6 hours away, went over
to Fayetteville and cleaned the apartment and shipped me all of
Misty's stuff to give back to her family. That is a good friend, I
mean to tell you. Johnny was TERRIFIED about going back and doing

He is doing OK now, but he still has nightmares about the ER when she
died. I think he will for a very long time. It was an awful lot for a
kid to take, especially who was just starting out in a beautiful

We all know Misty is in a much better place, and Johnny feels her
presence often and excels in his job still for her - showing off to
make her proud of him. She is still his inspiration and will be for a
very long time.

That is my story. God keep her in his arms, as I know she is there
this moment.


Angel2lDear Misty, I write to you (belated as usual) to recognize and honor what would have been your and Johnny's 5th wedding anniversary had you not moved on to your heavenly home 33 days after your marriage. But I need to assure you, he is happily remarried and has a beautiful little girl, near 2 years old, and I know that is what you would have wanted for him so even though we all felt your presence at the wedding - it was obvious - I wanted you to know you are right. You were his first REAL love but you were so loving and giving I knew what you wanted for him, and that is what he has now. It just is not with you these days. God Bless and keep you and we will see you when Jesus returns to earth!!!
Mama B, your mom-in-law

Angel2lHi Misty! You would have been 22 this month (I'm sorry I am late....I never forgot, just never had a chance to post a "happy birthday" here to you. Life has gone on since you have also gone on but don't ever think we will forget you or talk about you and tease you about being a button-pushing pillow-fighting air force recruit wannabe. We always loved teasing and playing with you and you took it SO GREAT! I miss you and pray that you are in God's loving hands or maybe he has already placed you back here for your next job to help somebody. Only God (and you!) know. Happy 22nd birthday Misty B. And God Bless Forever.

Mom Brown


Angel2lDear Misty who is celebrating her second heavenly birthday. You protected Johnny during his tour in Iraq and he was just home for his leave and left on 4/6, the anniversary of when you became ill, to drive straight through back to Ft. Bragg - just as you did 2 years ago. I pray he wasn't thinking about what day it was as he left. I love you Misty and keep you in my prayers. Thank you for watching over Johnny...your work is not done...He's probably going to be going elsewhere in the next few months that he will need your special watch again too. God Bless you baby. I miss you. Blessed birthday to you hon.



Dear Misty all of heaven is celebrating and those of Earth remember and celebrate your time here. Happy Heavenly Birthday Beautiful girl. Frankie

Angel2lHappy Birthday Mi Mi.  Its hard to believe that it has been a year all ready.  I miss you so much, but I know that your looking down on all of us.  Thank you for being with me when I really needed you.  I can always feel your presence and I'm glad that we got to spend the time we did here on earth.  I know you are always with me and I will never forget you.  Love you lots sis!  Jezzy Bell

Angel2lDear Misty, It has been 1 year since you were released from your earthly body and you ascended to the heavens. You remember how Johnny watched you with his buddies - as a shooting star - going upwards, not down, that night? He has not forgotten and you will always be our shooting star. You will never be forgotten - not by anybody whose lives you touched, which are many. Watch over Johnny, please, during his time in Iraq, warning him of dangers - being his intuition when you are able. And, as I know you are doing, take care of heaven's babies until their Mommies are able to join them. I love and miss you Misty, all our IM conversations... Mom B/Laura

Laura B


Angel2lHappy Birthday to Heaven Misty. Frankie
Laura B, Misty's Mother in Law
                                                                        Life is what's happening when you're making plans

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