Actress Ashley Judd appeared on Instagram Live from her hospital bed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and revealed she suffered “massive, catastrophic injuries” that landed her in the intensive care unit.
You can watch the video below.
In it, Judd, 52, spoke with Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times. “Talking to @Ashley_Judd about her accident in Congo and more,” wrote Kristof on Instagram. “Ashley wants to pivot the conversation from what happened to her to needs in Congo and how to help.”
He said she was “in a really horrible accident in Congo.” He said they wanted to make it a “broader conversation” beyond what happened to Judd. He said she almost lost a leg.
Here’s what you need to know:
Judd Revealed She Was ‘in an ICU Trauma Unit’
In the Instagram Live video, Judd revealed that she had an accident in the Congo. “I’m in a lot of love. I’m in a lot of compassion” and gratitude, said Judd in the video.
She told Kristof that she was “in an ICU trauma unit in beautiful South Africa, which has taken me in from the Congo: a country I deeply love which is not, unfortunately, equipped to deal with massive catastrophic injuries like I have had.”
She continued, “And 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 acknowledged that she was privileged in the video.
Judd said she had a “really bad accident.”
Judd said she was in the rain forest because of bonobos, which she said are a highly endangered great ape. They exist only in the Congo. She said they are “egalitarian, they are matriarchal” and they lack sexual coercion. She said the apes “offer us hope…We have a lot to learn from them.” She said her partner has a camp there. “We’re there every year, twice a year… I was doing what I always do, up at 4:30 in the morning with two of our trackers… walking in the dark.” She said her head lamp wasn’t working properly.
There was a fallen tree “on the path which I didn’t see,” she said. “As I was breaking my leg, I knew it was being broken.”
Judd Said the Injury Left Her ‘Howling’
According to the video, Judd explained that she broke her leg when she tripped over a tree. She said that she spent “five hours of lying on the forest floor” and it took time to be evacuated. She described an arduous journey carrying her back to camp, and then she was carried out in a hoisted hammock.
The entire experience was “incredibly harrowing,” she said. She bit a stick while “howling like a wild animal” to deal with the pain, describing her leg as “badly misshapen.” She said she was lying in great pain for hour after hour.
She went into shock and was carried out of the rain forest.
She said that people in the Congo lack a simple pill to kill the pain – stressing that she had medical care that everyone does not have.
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