Ashley Judd is on her way to recovering following her “catastrophic” fall in the Congo rainforest. She shared her journey on IG, revealing that she is back in the U.S., after an eight-hour surgery to save her shattered leg.
After making her way out of the jungle, where she was working on a show about bonobo monkeys, she was flown to Sunninghill Hospital in South Africa.
“I arrived to them from DRC in terrible shape and my leg had no pulse,” Judd wrote. “I desperately needed a blood transfusion. Their sisters (nurses) are exemplary, technically top notch, and they cared for the trauma in my body as well as my soul with equal proficiency.”
Judd said the staff had to make “split second decisions upon my arrival” to figure out how to care for her significant injury. Her surgeon, Dr. Eugene Greeff, “was super at stabilizing my leg with the external fixator until the massive soft tissue damage and swelling went down so that I could have the Big Operation.”
All this, amid the COVID outbreak. She said she contacted her father, Michael Ciminella, asking him to come and help her get home. The pair made a 22-hour journey on four different flights, back to the U.S., “thanks to unbelievably efficient disaster travel insurance on an Air Ambulance.”
Once in an American hospital, Judd said, “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.”
She hailed her father. “He has been my rock, companion, resource, helped me listen to so many doctors, critical support system, and kind, loving presence as I have wept and wept,” she said of her dad, who is in one of the pictures she shared. “I'm very thankful to all of the experts, including that expert pictured, my Pop, who is rubbing my foot to remind my foot while it still cannot move that it is connected to my body.”