A seriously injured Tłı̨chǫ woman who says a man assaulted both her and her granddaughter, then attempted to burn down their Edmonton home, is recovering in hospital.
Dora Campbell and her granddaughter reported being attacked on Saturday and having their house set on fire by a man who police said is now being sought for attempted murder and arson.
The man is said to have returned to help Campbell out of the house, in an apparent change of heart, before leaving.
Darlene Gauthier, a friend of Campbell, is now appealing for help to set Campbell up with everything she will need to recover.
“I just want to give her an envelope full of money, so she can do whatever she wants with it,” Gauthier said, pausing in between tears. “Because she has nothing.”
Warning: This report contains graphic descriptions that readers may find disturbing.
Campbell is recovering in hospital in Edmonton. She has had surgery for a broken hip and required seven stitches on her forehead. Her granddaughter suffered a broken collarbone as a result of the ordeal, Gauthier said.
Gauthier said her friend, now 72 years old, has lived in Edmonton for a long time but is originally from Edzo. The two go to church together every Sunday and they share a grandson, who they’ve both helped to raise.
“It’s so heartbreaking to see my grandson crying and hurt over his grandma going through this,” Gauthier said.
Nurses at the hospital call her “super grandma,” Gauthier said, as Campbell is already sitting up, doing exercises, and is in “very good spirits, considering what happened to her.”
Dora Campbell, seen in a submitted photo, is recovering in hospital after an assault on Saturday.
“She raised our grandson. She’s a wonderful grandma. She’s a wonderful friend and a super, super strong lady,” Gauthier said. “She has the will to live – and this is what brought her out of the terrible scenario that she was put in that night.”
The Edmonton Journal reported Dora and her granddaughter had been assaulted on Saturday night. There were gasoline rags all over the house, Gauthier said, including in the oven.
Dora told Global News she recalled hearing her granddaughter screaming that she had been hit in the head with an axe. Gauthier said the man then began assaulting Dora and threw her down the stairs as smoke and fire filled the house.
“Dora said she started praying in her language and yelling for God,” said Gauthier. “And she told the guy, ‘I forgive you, your grandmother wouldn’t want this.'”
The man is said to have, ultimately, re-entered the house and retrieved Campbell – dragging her outside – before fleeing the scene.
“I don’t know what happened, but he ran down the stairs and put her over his shoulders and put her under the tree and he ran,” said Gauthier. “He had the heart to go back and save Dora.”
Dora’s granddaughter was able to escape through a basement window, Gauthier said.
Police in Alberta have issued a province-wide arrest warrant for a man named Jade Boskoyous, aged 33. Boskoyous is wanted for attempted murder, aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, and arson. Police say he is “violent and dangerous.”
Cabin Radio attempted to reach Boskoyous via social media and a telephone number Boskoyous previously listed online, but did not hear back. The allegations against him have not been tested in court.
A submitted photo of Campbell’s house, which was completely destroyed on Saturday. The fire department said nothing inside could be salvaged.
Gauthier said Campbell now has a place to live when she gets out of hospital – an apartment – but everything else was lost in the fire.
Gauthier has started a Gofundme campaign to be able to take care of Campbell’s many needs. The fire consumed all of her furniture and appliances, photos of her late husband and late children, identifying documents, and all of her clothing and personal items.
The fire even burned her teeth, which Gauthier said they had since laughed about.
“She said, ‘Oh, my teeth are beside the bed,’ and her son told her, ‘There’s no more bed, mum.’ She just cried. She had a big tear,” Gauthier remembered.
“I said, ‘You know what? We’ll get you another bed and more teeth.’
“We kind-of giggled.”
Gauthier said she is grateful her friend is alive and the family can rebuild.
“Dora is a fast healer and she’s going to be up and boogying around in the next couple weeks. Because she has a will to live and a will to walk,” she said.
“[We’re] just taking it one day at a time here, and hoping and praying everything comes to a beautiful end for Dora.”