Ashley Judd says she almost died from her horrific fall in the Congo last week.
The 52-year-old actress revealed on Friday (Feb 12) she had been rushed to the ICU in a hospital in South Africa after she suffered a fall which left her with a “shattered leg in four places” as well as “nerve damage” while in the Congo.
On Tuesday, Ashley shared images from her 55-hour ordeal, which saw her travel across the continent in stages before reaching her final destination in South Africa.
In a lengthy caption on Instagram, she wrote: “Friends. Without my Congolese brothers and sisters, my internal bleeding would have likely killed me, and I would have lost my leg. 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. (sic)”
Ashley went on to thank each of the people involved in getting her the help she needed, including a man she named “Papa Jean”, who “manipulated and adjusted [her] broken bones” so that she could be transported safely.
She said: “Papa Jean: it took 5 hours, but eventually he found me, wretched and wild on the ground, and calmly assessed my broken leg. He told me what he had to do. I bit a stick. I held onto Maud.
“And Papa Jean, with certainty began to manipulate and adjust my broken bones back into something like a position I could be transported in, while I screamed and writhed. How he did that so methodically while I was like an animal is beyond me. He saved me. & he had to do this twice! The six men who carefully moved me into the hammock with as little jostling as possible, who then walked for 3 hours over rough terrain carrying me out. Heros. (sic)”
The Double Jeopardy star sustained her injuries when she was out on an excursion and had been using a faulty head lamp, which made it difficult for her to see, and as a result she tripped over a fallen tree.
When she first detailed her 55-hour ordeal, Ashley described it as "incredibly harrowing”, and said it began "with five hours of lying on the forest floor" with one of her colleagues until she was able to be evacuated.
She added: "[He had] his leg under my badly misshapen leg, [and I was] biting my stick. Howling like a wild animal."
Five hours after her accident someone arrived to reset her bones, before she was carried through the rainforest to a motorcycle, where she was driven for six hours to the city of Jolu.
After spending the night in the city, she was then flown to the capital of Kinshasa to stay for 24 hours and then, eventually, down to South Africa to be treated in an ICU in that country.
Speaking to The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof for an Instagram Live interview, she said: "I'm in a lot of love. I'm in a lot of compassion and I'm in a lot of gratitude. I thank everyone for their thoughts and their prayers and their support." — BANG
Photo: TPG News/Click Photos