Ashley Judd Hospitalized With 'Massive Catastrophic Injuries' After Accident In Africa

Actress Ashley Judd is now recovering in a South African hospital after breaking her leg in multiple places during an expedition in the country of Congo.

The 52-year-old actress revealed the ordeal — including her severe injury — in a video interview with New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof on Friday, February 12.

According to Judd, the accident occurred recently when she was out on an excursion with a team of other people, and she tripped and fell over a tree that had fallen in the rainforest. Ultimately, it was later determined that she’d broken her leg in FOUR places.

In the video interview with Kristof, the Kiss The Girls actress revealed the entire 55-hour ordeal had been “harrowing” and began with “five hours of lying on the forest floor” until she was able to be evacuated.


Fortunately for her, Judd had been with a colleague at the time, as well as several guides alongside. She recalled how she was eventually taken out of the rainforest, telling Kristof (below):

“I was carried an hour and a half in a hammock… by my Congolese brothers, who were doing it barefoot, up and over hills, through the river.”

And while she did note she was “going into shock” and started to pass out at points due to the pain, luckily, she was able to get just enough medical care while in Congo to have a doctor set her leg before she was evacuated to South Africa. Eventually, she was taken by motorcycle — with the shattered leg! OUCH! — to a “hut” six hours away in the village of Jolu. From there, she flew to Kinshasa, and then was eventually taken to South Africa.

Still, even with the pain, she seemed grateful for those who helped along the way, telling the Times:

“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.”

The actress also noted how, even though she’d been through a truly harrowing 55-hour ordeal with her severe injury and all the back-country travel it took to get to safety, she still felt incredibly privileged.

She acknowledged:

“I’m 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. 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.”

An important lesson in perspective!

Here is Judd’s 18-minute-long interview with Kristof (below):

A post shared by Nicholas Kristof (@nickkristof)

Wow! Her positive attitude after the whole ordeal is remarkable! Of course, Judd herself kind of hit it on the head during their talk: she’s very lucky to be alive and recovering in a hospital! What a crazy story!

BTW, this wasn’t Judd’s first trip to Congo. Far from it, actually; she started going there over a decade ago to investigate the role of conflict diamonds and their related exploitative mining and labor practices in global trade. We just hope Ashley recovers quickly, and gets well soon. Too scary!

What say U, Perezcious readers? Sound off down in the comments (below)…

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