Skip to main content

Mistaken identity adds to family's grief over Boston victim

By Ben Brumfield and Jason Carroll, CNN
updated 10:21 AM EDT, Wed April 17, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Krystle Campbell is one of three people who died in the blast
  • She was driven by a strong work ethic
  • Mother: "She had a heart of gold. She was always smiling"

Medford, Massachusetts (CNN) -- Patty Campbell worried her daughter Krystle might face amputation after a bomb blast at the Boston Marathon wounded her.

The family said doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital told them Campbell had survived -- but that they had to work hard to save her leg.

But when her parents were allowed to see her, they made a heart-wrenching discovery.

The wounded woman wasn't their daughter at all, but her close friend, Karen Rand, who had gone to see the race with her.

Rand had been carrying something with Campbell's name on it. Doctors saw it and assumed it belonged to the patient they were working on.

People pause at the memorial site in Copley Square on April 30 in Boston. The city continues to return to normalcy with Boylston Street fully reopened and businesses back up and running after two weeks of closures. See all photography related to the Boston bombings. People pause at the memorial site in Copley Square on April 30 in Boston. The city continues to return to normalcy with Boylston Street fully reopened and businesses back up and running after two weeks of closures. See all photography related to the Boston bombings.
Photos: Nation mourns Boston bomb victims
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
>
>>
Photos: Nation mourns Boston bomb victims Photos: Nation mourns Boston bomb victims
Grandmother remembers Krystle Campbell
Second bombing victim named
Bombing victim's mom: Everyone loved her
Boston remembers the bombing victims

Rand survived, but Campbell, 29, did not.

She is one of three people who perished when the two bombs blew shrapnel through crowds of thousands at the iconic road race.

Rolling up her sleeves

Campbell was driven by a strong work ethic, and it got noticed by family and coworkers alike.

Former employers commended her diligence when lamenting her death.

"She was one of the hardest workers that we had," said Nick Miminos, manager at Jimmy's Steer House, Campbell's most recent employer. "She would get in the trenches and work right next to you. She wasn't afraid to get her hands dirty."

"Full of energy and hard at work," is how former employer Summer Shack, a seafood restaurant, described her in a statement on its Facebook page.

She rolled up her sleeves with a smile, her grandmother Lillian Campbell told CNN's Jake Tapper. "She was very happy, outgoing, a hard worker."

Campbell lived with her grandmother for a year and a half and was "great with me," she said. She was always eager to help.

Her grieving mother, Patty Campbell, couldn't stop sobbing long enough to read a family statement to the press. To her, Campbell was nothing short of the best.

"You couldn't ask for a better daughter," she managed to get across her lips.

"She had a heart of gold. She was always smiling," Patty Campbell said, as her son, Billy, clutched her in his right arm.

Bright eyes, vibrant smile

Looking at Campbell's memorial page on Facebook, it's easy to believe her mother. The page is covered with photos of the young woman's vibrant smiles and bright eyes.

On the deceased restaurant manager's private page, the family points visitors to the memorial site, which had garnered over 51,000 likes by early Wednesday.

Admirers have left behind thousands of condolences and prayers.

"This just makes me so sad," Robert Zeff wrote on the Facebook page. "I'm so sorry for Krystle and everyone who knew her and loved her."

"May God comfort your hearts and bring peace to your beautiful family at this difficult time," Samantha Gurskis-Pottinger commented.

But the page's owner has included a sterner message:

"We demand justice for Krystle!"

How to comfort grieving parents

Chinese student killed in bombings had followed her passion to Boston

Boy killed in Boston blast wrote, 'No more hurting people'

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Boston Marathon Bombings
Survivors of three earlier bombings describe their journeys forward — and offer poignant words for those just one year away from the day that changed their lives.
updated 2:15 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
"United, we will always persevere." That was the message Massachusetts shared on the anniversary of twin bombings that turned last year's Boston Marathon from a celebration into a day of horror.
updated 2:47 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
I'm running it to make a simple statement: Acts of cowardice will not stop me from exercising my rights as an athlete and a human.
updated 3:40 PM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Many of those whose lives were shattered are still struggling to put the pieces back together. Here are some of the victims, as well as larger funds, who continue to need your support.
updated 11:22 AM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
As April 15 approaches, the fact that we tell time in circles brings us to remember the attack on the Boston Marathon one year ago.
updated 10:47 PM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
CNN's Bill Weir talks to Carlos Arredondo about helping those injured immediately after the Boston Marathon bombing.
updated 10:39 AM EDT, Mon April 21, 2014
By running in response to the tragedy, we weren't attempting to negate the irreparable harm done to the people of Boston last year. We wanted to do something, anything, to try to process it.
updated 7:24 AM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
All of our assumptions have turned out to be wrong. Here are four things we've learned since then:
updated 4:17 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been frozen in the public mind by four images.
updated 7:22 PM EDT, Tue April 8, 2014
Adrianne Haslet-Davis' life as a dancer was shattered last year at the Boston Marathon bombings.
updated 7:40 AM EDT, Mon March 24, 2014
A man who lost both legs in the Boston Marathon attack is engaged to the woman he was waiting for at the finish line.
updated 10:21 AM EDT, Wed April 17, 2013
Mistaken identity in the hospital added to her family's grief.
updated 11:38 AM EDT, Wed April 24, 2013
The slain MIT cop "was born to be a police officer."
updated 10:37 PM EDT, Thu April 18, 2013
The graduate student from China followed her passion to Boston.
updated 1:10 AM EDT, Wed April 17, 2013
Almost a year ago, 8-year-old Martin Richard wrote four simple words on a sign at school: No more hurting people.
updated 12:37 PM EDT, Wed July 17, 2013
Mery Daniel couldn't wait for Marathon. It was one of the things the aspiring doctor and Haitian immigrant loved most about living in Boston.
updated 9:09 AM EDT, Thu May 2, 2013
After twin blasts shook Boston -- killing three and wounding more than 260 others -- investigators sprung into action looking for those responsible.
updated 11:05 AM EDT, Sun April 28, 2013
The black Mercedes SUV sped down Spruce Street going about 70 mph, the driver struggling to maintain control. The vehicle had a busted headlight and flat tire.
Click through our galleries of the Boston Marathon bombing, from perspectives on the attack to the suspects, as well as the manhunt and celebrations in Boston after both suspects were found.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT