Ashley Judd is recovering after suffering “massive catastrophic injuries” in an accident in the Congo.
The 52-year-old spoke on IG Live about her ordeal. She was visiting the region with researchers to examine bonobo apes when she had a terrible fall in the rainforest during an early morning walk.
“I was doing what I always do, got up at 4:30 in the morning with two of our trackers … My headlamp had new batteries but it was a little faint, it wasn’t working quite properly,” Judd explained from her hospital bed. “Accidents happen and there was a fallen tree on the path, which I didn’t see. I had a very powerful stride going and I just fell over this tree.”
She continued: “What was next was an incredibly harrowing 55 hours,” she continued. “It started with five hours of lying on the forest floor with one of the tracker’s leg under my badly misshapen leg. I’m biting my stick, howling like a wild animal. … Knowing that this is the beginning of what’s going to take hours.”
At various points en route to the hospital, she was carried by hand and motorcycle. Still, she realized that being a white woman from America made a huge difference. “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, noting many villages in the Congo lack electricity and medical equipment like painkillers, a point she made again in a separate post on her Instagram.
She spent one night in a “hut” and then was flown out of the Congo to a hospital in South Africa. Judd is in recovery thanked everyone for the “love” they sent her way.