Barker found herself sleeping in that two-person, now destroyed tent along an interstate on-ramp simply by chance.
The longtime dental assistant and her husband had been homeless for roughly a year, after the landlord raised their rent by $300 a month.
"I think they saw it as, 'We'll rent it to somebody from California, slap some paint on it, and bam.' That's pretty much what happened," she said in an interview from her hospital bed Tuesday. "I was there for 23 years in my apartment. Never had a complaint, never had a problem, never been late on my rent ever before."
The struggle tied to that rent-hike, Barker said, was exacerbated by hospital visits for both her and her husband.
"He was riding his bicycle and hit an SUV head-on and almost broke his back," she said. "I was sick, just run down and I had worked like six days a week, 16 hours a day. I was really burned out."
The ordeals threw the couple's financial routine for a loop.
"I was in the hospital actually when I got slapped with a late charge. I thought my husband had paid the rent. He thought I paid the rent," she said. "And so we got slapped all these late charges, like almost $500 in late charges."
From there, the couple moved into their car, then onto the streets.
Barker was also already on disability, thanks to a lifelong condition that makes her fingers go numb.
"It was really hard for me to manipulate my hands, my instruments. I love dental assisting. It's my trade, and I really want to get back to that," she said.
Early in the morning on Nov. 2, Barker biked to where she knew her husband and a friend were hanging out. It was a small patch of land, next to the I-205 on-ramp at Southeast Division Street.
"They were both in their sleeping bags, fast asleep [in the friend’s tent]," she said. "I had just smoked a cigarette and put it out. And I was right between them, going to fall asleep."
Barker estimates she'd been in the tent between 15 and 20 minutes when she heard it.
"I heard this, 'Screech!' and all this gravel and 'Boom!' This car was right on me. I'll never forget," she said. "And all of a sudden there was headlights in my face from the car that landed on me. And the door [of the tent] was tattered, just ripped out. And my friend goes, 'My door!' and I said, 'My legs!'"
Three adults were inside the tent. Barker, the one who'd just entered, was the only one hurt.
Police said the driver, 20-year-old Shayla Valdez, wasn't impaired. She just misjudged the curve.
"She had her phone in her hand. She was saying, 'Is everybody OK?' And I think my friend or husband yelled, 'Does it sound like it?!' Because I was just screaming because it hurt so bad," Barker said.
The paramedics had to pull Barker out of the tent and strap her to a board.
"I couldn't have walked if I wanted to. My leg was flopping. The bone was sticking out. There's no way I could have walked," she said.
Tuesday, her legs laid bare in the bed, stitches and swelling clearly visible.
"The toes are broken in this foot," she said, pointing to her right foot.
"And then the same with [the right foot] and the titanium rod and screws," she said, gesturing to her right shin. "It was like I was an accordion. I just, that car hit me. It just pushed everything, and I thought, 'Oh my gosh, I'm going to have hip problems and back problems.' I already do have back problems."
Staff at OHSU confirmed Barker’s injuries, adding a full recovery is possible, but nothing is certain.
"Ankle bone injuries never fully heal right," said a staff member, adding Barker will probably have chronic pain for the rest of her life.
In the meantime, it's not clear how much Medicaid will cover.
"She’s under the impression that it's going to be a hefty bill," said the staff member, adding the option of a lawsuit doesn't appear to be that lucrative, given the charges, or lack thereof, in her case.