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Ashley Judd Hospitalized In South Africa After "Catastrophic Accident"

Ashley Judd Hospitalized In South Africa After "Catastrophic Accident"
February 13, 2021 - 09:20 / Cynthia Springer

Actress Ashley Judd has been hospitalized in South Africa after breaking her leg in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Judd, a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, was in Congo for bonobo conservation work when she suddenly fell and shattered her leg...

Double Jeopardy actress Ashley Judd is currently in a South African ICU trauma unit after tripping over a tree in the dark in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Judd has been a political activist for years, especially in working on humanitarian issues in Congo. 

Ashley Judd Hospitalized In South Africa After "Catastrophic Accident"

While in her hospital bed, Ashley Judd spoke on Instagram Live to New York Times columnist and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof about the incident. The two have worked together in the past over human rights issues and social injustices in Africa. 

Ashley Judd in 2018

Judd shattered her leg in multiple places after falling over a tree at around 4:30 am, a normal time, she describes, to be conducting her research work. She was working alongside two trackers - in hopes to see the intelligent bonobo ape - when her headlamp wasn't working, leading to her fall. 

An "incredibly harrowing 55 hours"

Due to the lack of resources in Congo, it took Judd 55 hours in total to reach the hospital where she currently is. She stated that she was initially lying on the floor "howling like a wild animal" and biting on a stick to relieve the pain, as there was no ibuprofen accessible. She was moved with the help of the trackers via a hammock, and then took a 6-hour journey on a motorbike as she held onto her shattered tibia. She ended up staying overnight in a hut, then traveled to Kinshasa on a bush plane, and is now in South Africa. 

Judd stated that she "nearly lost [her] leg" and was thankful for the assistance she did have along the journey. She stated how she was privileged enough to even make it to the hospital, whereas a Congolese person would have not.

"If it was someone who lived there, it would have been the end of their options. The end of their leg — and probably their life."

The Divergent actress suffered massive soft tissue damage and stated how her "right foot is lame." Yet, she didn't use the Instagram Live video to talk about her bodily damages - rather further explain the issues engulfed in Congo. Not only did she discuss the importance of the bonobo ape, but she further talked about the human rights issues, especially concerning gender-based rights, that continue to a distressing problem in the DNC. 

Ashley Judd in 2019

"I'm in a lot of compassion and I'm in a lot of gratitude," Judd commented. She called for donations to the Friends of United Nations Population Fund, where she's raising funds for vulnerable pregnant women in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

Watch the full two-part discussion here: