The actress shattered her leg after tripping on a fallen tree in the rainforest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
After Ashley Judd was taken out of the jungle in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in a "grueling 55-hour" rescue following her harrowing injury while visiting the endangered bonobo monkeys, the actress has shed more light on her painful recovery.
Two weeks ago, the 52-year-old actress shattered her leg after tripping on a fallen tree. She took to Instagram to give an update on her situation revealing that she has returned to the U.S from South Africa. She penned that she was taken to Sunninghill Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa, in "terrible shape and my leg had no pulse. I desperately needed a blood transfusion."
But the "exemplary" and "technically top-notch" nurses cared for the "trauma in my body as well as my soul with equal proficiency." She added that even though the hospital was dealing with the COVID B.1.351 strain, a new, faster-spreading variant of COVID-19, they took care of her needs. The Double Jeopardy star also thanked her surgeon, Dr. Eugene Greeff, for "stabilizing" her leg so that she could have the "Big Operation." She added that she would be in his "debt" forever because "what he did was significant."
The Divergent star also mentioned the horrifying text she sent to her father, Michael Ciminella, who then flew to South Africa to be by his daughter's side. She wrote, “My beloved Dad, who had gotten the text no parent ever wants: 'emergency, can’t answer questions, please come now,' had indeed, because he is vaccinated, been able to come to South Africa." She added that her father has been her "rock, companion, resource, helped me listen to so many doctors, critical support system, and kind, loving presence as I have wept and wept.”
Judd and her father had to fly 22 hours, taking four flights, to reach the U.S so that she could undergo the much-needed surgery that went on for eight hours. Recalling the hours leading to the surgery, Judd, wrote, “In an American hospital, I had to continue to wait for the tissue damage and swelling to reduce. Eventually, I was qualified to have the 8-hour surgery to repair the bones, decompress the hemorrhaging nerve and pick the shards of bones out of the nerve. I am now recovering from surgery."
Judd travels to Congo twice a year with her "life partner" who runs a research camp there. In an Instagram Live with The New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, the actress revealed that she was walking with two trackers (researchers) at "4:30 in the morning" when the accident occurred. Because of her faulty headlight, she couldn't see the fallen tree and fell over.
Talking about how she's privileged to have received the right treatment, Judd explained, "The difference between a Congolese person and me is disaster insurance that allowed me 55 hours after my accident to get to an operating table in South Africa." She said that because of the poverty in Congo, they sometimes have no electricity, running water, or access to "a simple pill to kill the pain when you've shattered a leg in four places and have nerve damage."
Kristof explained that the interview came about because Judd wanted to bring the people's attention to Congo and encourage them to support the people and animals of the central African country.
Sharing the pictures of her rescue, the actress thanked her "Congolese brothers and sisters" without whom she would've "lost" her leg because "my internal bleeding would have likely killed me." She wrote, "I wake up weeping in gratitude, deeply moved by each person who contributed something life-giving and spirit salving during my grueling 55-hour odyssey."
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by Justin Sullivan