As Ashley Judd tells it, she is lucky to be alive. She suffered a near-fatale injury in the rainforest. And now she is thanking the Congolese people who rescued her, and helped mend a leg that was broken in four places. The actress has shared a number of images from the incident on Instagram, along with news of what exactly happened to her in the Congo.
“Friends. 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, deeply moved by each person who contributed something life giving and spirit salving during my grueling 55 hour odyssey.”
Last week, Ashley Judd explained that she’d tripped and injured her leg while visiting the rainforest. Immediate medical attention was required. The actress explained that she was was recovering 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.”
Now that four days have since passed, Ashley Judd is opening up about exactly what happened to her in the Congo. And she is sharing the stories behind the Congolese people that helped save her life. The 52-year old actress says this, naming her rescuers.
“Dieumerci stretched out his leg and put it under my grossly misshapen left leg to try to keep it still. It was broken in four places and had nerve damage. Dieumerci (“Thanks be to God”) remained seated, without fidgeting or flinching, for 5 hours on the rain forest floor. He was with me in my primal pain. He was my witness.”
“Papa Jean: it took 5 hours, but eventually he found me, wretched and wild on the ground, and calmly assessed my broken leg. He told me what he had to do. I bit a stick. I held onto Maud. And Papa Jean, with certainty began to manipulate and adjust my broken bones back into something like a position I could be transported in, while I screamed and writhed. How he did that so methodically while I was like an animal is beyond me. He saved me. & he had to do this twice!”
She goes onto say more about the people who came to her rescue.
“The six men who carefully moved me into the hammock with as little jostling as possible, who then walked for 3 hours over rough terrain carrying me out. Heroes. Didier and Maradona: Didier drove the motorbike. I sat facing backwards, his back my backrest. When I would begin to slump, to pass out, he would call to me to re-set my position to lean on him.”
“Maradona rode on the very back of the motorbike, i faced him. He held my broken leg under the heel and I held the shattered top part together with my two hands. Together we did this for 6 hours on an irregular, rutted and pocked dirt road that has gullies for rain run off during the rainy season. Maradona was the only person to come forward to volunteer for this task.”
She ends the harrowing tale with these kind words about her newfound friends from the rainforest.
“We have a nice friendship, discussing the pros and cons of polygamy and monogamy. I show two pictures, one in his hat and one in mine, which he dearly covets! The women! My sisters who held me. They blessed me.”
As for what Ashley Judd was doing in the Congo to begin with? The actress had previously shared that she was visiting the rainforest as part of a research group who had arrives to further study an endangered species of apes known as bonobos. Ashley Judd is recovering for her injuries at this time, and will likely offer another update on Instagram soon.