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Mistaken identity adds to family's grief over Boston victim

By Ben Brumfield and Jason Carroll, CNN
April 17, 2013 -- Updated 1421 GMT (2221 HKT)
  • 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.
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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!"

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