Local News

Apex Woman Suffers Aneurysm One Day Before Husband Returns From War

Posted June 7, 2007 11:20 p.m. EDT
Updated June 8, 2007 3:31 p.m. EDT

— For 18 months, Barbara Dunston waited for her husband to come home from Iraq.

When she got the news that he was on his way, she was “over the moon,” according to her sister, Rose Gillard.

So on Sunday morning – at the church where she spent much of her time mentoring young people – Barbara told the congregation the good news.

Her husband was in Wisconsin on the last leg of his trip and would be returning home the next day.

But before the church service ended, something went terribly wrong. Barbara, 56, collapsed and suffered a brain aneurysm. Doctors kept her alive so her husband could say goodbye when he returned home the next day.

“We were just trying to hold on until my father could get home,” Alteric Dunston, her son, said Thursday.

Barbara and Clarence Dunston were married for 35 years. He was a reservist, and every week she sent care packages to the Middle East  not just to her husband, but to his whole unit.

Barbara received dozens of e-mails thanking her for the little things she did to make soldiers feel closer to home.

“Everything that she did … everything that she did, somehow indirectly helped someone else,” Alteric Dunston said.

Barbara was an organ donor, and her organs have already helped several people in need of transplants, the family said.