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Actress Ashley Judd Is Hospitalized in Africa After Suffering “Massive Catastrophic” Leg Injury

745ng | February 13, 2021

Ashley Judd “shattered” her leg in four places while in the Congo, she revealed during an Instagram Live with The New York Times‘ Nicholas Kristof.

Ashley Juddis on the mend after a very scary accident.

In an Instagram Live with The New York Times‘ Nicholas Kristof on Feb. 12, the Double Jeopardy actress revealed that she severely injured her leg during an excursion on the Congo rainforest when she tripped over a fallen tree in the dark.

She spoke from her hospital bed about how she was now 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 explained that the experience further illuminated the privilege she held as a person of means visiting the Congo.

As she explained to Kristof, “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.”


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She detailed the “incredibly harrowing” experience, which “started with five hours of lying on the forest floor” until she was able to be evacuated. From there, she spent over an hour in a hammock being carried by her “Congolese brothers,” who were able to finally bring her back to camp. She spent the ordeal “howling like a wild animal” and biting down on a stick to try to alleviate some of the pain.

Judd then rode for six hours on a motorcycle to get to the nearest place to stay—which, she explained, only happened because she was able to pay for such transportation. She was taken to the capital of Kinshasa before being moved, finally, to the hospital.

Despite the tumultuous journey, Judd explained that she was very lucky to be in the position she was in. The Golden Globe nominee shared that many Congolese people don’t have the ability to afford “a simple pill to kill the pain when you’ve shattered a leg in four places and have nerve damage.”



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A post shared by Nicholas Kristof (@nickkristof)


As Judd explained on her Instagram earlier on Feb. 12, she was working in the Congo at a research camp studying an endangered species of apes called bonobos. “Bonobos matter,” Judd wrote on Instagram. “And so do the people in whose ancestral forest they range and the other 25,600,000 Congolese in need of humanitarian assistance.”

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