Ashley Judd was on a wildlife research trip in the Congo when she stumbled over a tree and shattered her leg. Now, the actress is recounting the life-threatening injury and the harrowing 55-hour rescue that followed.
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff interviewed Judd from her hospital room about the ordeal.
“It was a really bad break. There was internal bleeding,” Kristoff told Inside Edition.
In images released this week by Judd, she is shown being carried through the rainforest by guides in a makeshift hammock, which took three hours. When they got to a passable road, she was placed on a motorcycle. She was in the middle, while a helper cradled her shattered leg.
“He had to hold my leg. I had to physically hold the top part of my shattered tibia together, and we did that for six hours,” Judd said.
“This is through rough dirt roads that are bouncing along. Every bounce is wrenchingly painful, and she's got no pain medication,” Kristoff told Inside Edition.
Judd was then flown from the Congolese town of Jolu to the capital of Kinshasa and then to South Africa, where she’s recovering.
“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,” Judd wrote on Instagram.
"I think she's also a little bit anxious that this doesn't come across as one more celebrity suffering an accident a long way from anywhere, and she is very determined to try to leverage the concern for her into concern for the folks in Congo who helped her out,” Kristoff said.
Judd says she will walk again, because she believes in miracles.