Actress Ashley Judd has shared photos of her grueling rescue experience after she fell and broke her leg while traveling in the Congo rainforest.
The Double Jeopardy actress took to her Instagram earlier on Tuesday to share a series of photos (see below) from the rescue operation.
Judd was traveling in the Congo rainforest when she tripped on a fallen tree, broke a leg, and suffered internal bleeding.
A team of Congolese rescuers helped to transport her from the remote spot where the accident occurred to a hospital in South Africa where she underwent surgery.
She is currently recovering after surgery and hoping she will be able to walk again.
Ashley Judd was visiting a bonobo project site in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Judd, a UN Goodwill Ambassador, was visiting a bonobo research site in the DRC when the accident occurred.
Her partner, Martin, reportedly heads the Kokolopori Bonobo Research Project camp in the Central African country.
She left the camp to travel on foot into the dense rainforest. During the long walk, she tripped, fell, and broke a leg.
One of her companions stayed with her in the forest while the other returned to the camp to get help.
She discusses her experience with the New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof in the Instagram videos below:
The rescue operation took 55 hours
It took 55 hours to move Judd from the accident site in the rainforest to the hospital.
The team of rescuers carried her on a hammock from the remote spot in the forest to a place where she started a six-hour motorcycle journey.
The journey to the hospital also included an overnight stay in a hut.
She took to Instagram earlier today to express her gratitude to the men and women who rescued her from the forest.
“Without my Congolese brothers and sisters, my internal bleeding would have likely killed me, and I would have lost my leg,” she wrote. “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.”
She gave a shoutout to her rescuers, including Dieumerci and Papa Jean.
Ashley Judd suffered multiple fractures, tissue and nerve damage
According to Judd’s Instagram post, she suffered fractures in four places in her leg, major tissue, and nerve damage.
Dieumerci helped to keep her leg in place for five hours while someone returned to the camp to get help.
She was in pain and anguish during the long wait, without the benefit of pain medication.
Papa Jean arrived after five hours and helped to arrange and set her broken bones in preparation for transport to the hospital.
Six men were involved in moving her into a hammock. They carried her on a three-hour walk from the remote rain forest location to a place where they met Didier and Maradona who helped to transport her on a motorbike. The bike journey took six hours.
Didier drove the bike while Maradona held her all through the six-hour journey.
“Together we did this for six hours on an irregular, rutted, and pocked dirt road that has gullies for rain run-off during the rainy season,” Judd wrote.
They arrived, after a six-hour bike journey, at a hut where they spent the night. Two women kept her company over the night after which they resumed the final part of the journey.
Ashely Judd is an actress, political and humanitarian activist.
She is known for her roles in films such as Ruby in Paradise, Heat, A Time to Kill, and Double Jeopardy.
Monsters and Critics reported in February 2020 that Judd was the subject of online attacks by trolls over her appearance.
In another news, actor and comedian Kevin Hart underwent back surgery after a car crash in 2019.