Ashley Judd Shares Recovery Update After Accident Shattered Her Leg in the Congo

Ashley Judd is recovering after she suffered a "catastrophic" leg injury in the Democratic Republic of Congo earlier this month. The actress and animal rights activist provided fans with an update on her progress on Monday, revealing that she is back home in America, where she recently underwent a grueling eight-hour surgery to repair her shattered bones.

Judd began the health update by again expressing her gratitude for all of those who aided from the moment she was pulled from the rainforest and after she arrived at the hospital more than 50 hours later. She gave her "deepest and most vulnerable thanks to Sunninghill Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa," where doctors treating her had to make "split-second decisions" about her care. The actress, who shattered her leg in four places and suffered nerve damage after tripping over a fallen tree while on a research excursion, said she arrived at the hospital "in terrible shape and my leg had no pulse." She said she "desperately needed a blood transfusion."

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"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. Pictured here, once I was stable, is carefree laughter and mirth," she continued. "Dr. Greef, pictured, 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. What he did was significant and I am forever in his debt."

Judd revealed that her father was thankfully able to make the trip to South Africa to be at her side because he had received the COVID-19 vaccine. She said her father "had gotten the text no parent ever wants: 'emergency, can't answer questions, please come now.'" She called her father her "rock, companion, resource, helped me listen to so many doctors, critical support system, and kind, loving presence as I have wept and wept."


Days after suffering the injury, Judd and her father "made the 22 hour - 4 flights - to America," something made possible "thanks to unbelievably efficient disaster travel insurance on an Air Ambulance." Once in an American hospital, Judd said she had to "continue to wait for the tissue damage and swelling to reduce" and eventually underwent an eight-hour surgery "to repair the bones, decompress the hemorrhaging nerve and pick the shards of bones out of the nerve."

Judd, who said she is "now recovering from surgery," ended her update with a message of thanks "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." Despite the severity of her injury, the actress said she is "up and around already." She added, "Let us always remember those without insurance. Let us remember those who do have choices. Let us remember those who are lonely and afraid."