Ashley Judd Updates Fans About ‘Catastrophic Accident’ in Africa, Posts Photo

by Evan Reier

While on a Congolese excursion recently, actress and activist Ashley Judd was severely injured in the country’s rain forest.

After being unable to see due to a malfunctioning head lamp, the 52-year-old actress says she fell over a fallen tree. The fall led to, by her description, a “catastrophic” injury to her leg, breaking bones in several places as well as sustaining nerve damage.

Before speaking on an Instagram Live about the incident, Judd posted on Instagram early on Friday morning. The post addresses the injury, but only before talking about bonobos, a species of endangered great apes.

Ashley Judd Address Bonobos, Injury, Congo

Judd captions the post:

“Bonobos exist only in the most remote parts of the #congo. Egalitarian, matriarchal, peaceful, social stability girded by female collations, they offer hope for humans. They are endangered. We have a small research Camp. I am accustomed to being there. I am a woman of the wilderness, as you know. Accidents do happen. I struck something in the dark and fell.

“I will talk with @nickkristof at 9 am ET about this catastrophic accident (I nearly lost my leg) and what it means to be Congolese in extreme poverty with no access to health care, any medication for pain, any type of service, or choices. Please join us and learn what it is like for much of the world – and how you can help. Bonobos matter. And so do the people in whose ancestral forest they range and the other 25,600,000 Congolese in need of humanitarian assistance.”

Clearly, a major part of Judd’s response to a brutal accident is not about herself. Instead, the actress is highlighting the lack of medical technology and support the Congo has. After being assisted initially in Congo, Judd was taken to a hospital in South Africa to receive proper treatment.

Further Quotes on Accident

After falling, Judd had to remain nearby as the people with her on the excursion sought help. The 52-year-old described the ordeal as “harrowing” and gave further details of how she and another had to lay on the ground while she was in pain.

“With his leg under my badly misshapen leg, biting my stick,” Ashley Judd said. “Howling like a wild animal.”

Judd was eventually carried out of the forest, where she was taken to the Congo’s capital, Kinshasa. There, the actress remained in care for 24 hours before she could be transported to South Africa.

After arriving there, Judd began detailing the ordeal. Again, much of her focus has been on highlighting the struggle and poverty of the African nation.

“[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.”

Judd also mentioned thanks to those around her and fans concerned at home.

“I’m in a lot of love,” Judd said. I’m in a lot of compassion and I’m in a lot of gratitude,” the actress said earlier in the conversation. “I thank everyone for their thoughts and their prayers and their support.”