Ashley Judd broke her leg in four places and paralyzed her foot while hiking through the Congo last year and nearly died from the injury. In a podcast, the actress detailed the events.
While chatting with Kate Roberts on Sex, Body and Soul, Judd explained that she was deep in the forest when she fell. And her “Congolese brothers” had to carry her “up and over hills” and “through the river” to get her to South Africa for emergency care.
As the actress reflected on the event, she admitted that she doesn’t know how she handled the extreme pain. And while she was on the trek to the medical facility, she prayed and wished that she would lose consciousness for relief
“I don’t know how the mind and the body and the soul come together to manage to endure the unendurable,” she said. Later adding, “I bit a stick, I screamed, I howled, I convulsed. I never did pass out — I wished that I could.”
Once Ashley Judd made it to South Africa, her situation didn’t get much better. Her leg injury was far more complicated than she imagined. And she nearly lost her life.
Ashley Judd Nearly Hemorraged to Death During her 55 Hour Journey
“I was in hospital in South Africa about nine days. And then I was medevaced to Tennessee,” Judd continued. “But when I got to South Africa my leg didn’t have a pulse, and I was hemorrhaging.”
Judd also added that if she had gone to Europe instead of the U.S., she would have bled to death.
To deal with both the pain and fear of losing her life, the Double Jeopardy star had to focus on her meditation skills to get through. And she never lied to herself about how grim the situation truly was.
“I just had no expectations,” admitted Judd. “And I knew that I could only do it one breath at a time.”
In total, Ashley Judd spent 55 hours traveling to a fully equipped hospital before she got any pain medication and relief. Luckily, doctors were able to completely fix her injuries.
And now that she’s healed, the actress has plans of heading back to the Congo. In an Instagram post, the 53-year-old shared that her trauma is “in the past now.”
After 11 months of healing, Ashley Judd has been able to walk 25 miles in the Smoky Mountains. And she made it through her annual New Year’s trek through the Swiss Alps. And now, Judd would like to revisit the hike she wasn’t able to finish.
“All this has me feeling ready. For what? Yes. #Congo. I return now,” she wrote. “My heart is open and eager. I do not yet know what I will feel. I know only that I will feel, and I am ready to greet the experience with curiosity, wonder.”