Ashley Judd is back in the United States following a “catastrophic” injury that left her tibia broken in several places while on a research trip to the Congo.
In an Instagram post on Monday, the actress shared a series of photos and videos documenting her medical journey, writing in the caption, “I want to give my deepest and most vulnerable thanks to Sunninghill Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa, for making split second decisions upon my arrival. I arrived to them from DRC in terrible shape and my leg had no pulse. I desperately needed a blood transfusion.”
She went on to praise the “exemplary” nurses and doctor who took care of her, and revealed that her father was able to be by her side during the ordeal.
“My beloved Dad, who had gotten the text no parent ever wants: ‘emergency, can’t answer questions, please come now,’ had indeed, because he is vaccinated, been able to come to South Africa,” she wrote. “He has been my rock, companion, resource, helped me listen to so many doctors, critical support system, and kind, loving presence as I have wept and wept.”
Ashley says she and her father took a 22 hour trip consisting of four flights back to the United States.
“In an American hospital, I had to continue to wait for the tissue damage and swelling to reduce,” she continued. “Eventually I was qualified to have the 8-hour surgery to repair the bones, decompress the hemorrhaging nerve and pick the shards of bones out of the nerve. I am now recovering from surgery.”
Ashley concluded her post with a message of gratitude for those who helped her, and empathy for those less fortunate. “I’m very thankful to all of the experts, including that expert pictured, my Pop, who is rubbing my foot to remind my foot while it still cannot move that it is connected to my body,” she wrote. “I am up and around already. Thank you for your care and kind words. Let us always remember those without insurance. Let us remember those who do not have choices. Let us remember those who are lonely and afraid.”
Last week, Ashley shared a series of photos as she showed her thanks for the rescuers who came to her aid. “Without my Congolese brothers and sisters, my internal bleeding would have likely killed me, and I would have lost my leg,” she said on Instagram. “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.”
Ashley first revealed the harrowing incident to New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, telling him during an Instagram Live that she tripped over a fallen tree while walking in the dark and was in agony for the next 55 hours until she was able to get proper medical care.