Ashley Judd is in an ICU trauma unit after nearly dying in central Africa. She was in the forest in the early morning, working to examine bonobos. She tripped, which resulted in breaking her leg in four places. The internal bleeding nearly killed her. Now, Ashley Judd is posting photos of her ordeal.
Ashley Judd’s posts cover the story of the 55-hour journey where Congolese people saved her life and work to bring the conversation back to the conservation of bonobos. Her most recent Instagram post includes multiple slides and a long description of events.
Six men were involved in carrying Ashley Judd for three hours out of the forest. Two individuals then handled driving a motorbike over a rutted dirt road while helping hold her broken leg in place for six hours. You can see the way the bike jostles her in the video clip. She is then shown being cared for by multiple people. Eventually, she made it to the ICU and was treated. There, doctors let her know that she did almost die from internal bleeding. Her next step was to take to Instagram. Ashley Judd posted her story with a sharp focus not on the agony of breaking her leg, but on the people who helped her along the way.
Before detailing the events of her broken leg, Ashley Judd posted about the bonobos she was originally there to help. She also did an Instagram Live from the ICU with Nicholas Kristof, a NY Times columnist. In the Live footage, the 52-year-old actress and Goodwill Ambassador discusses her visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the fall that led to her injury.
Ashley Judd explains that it started at 4:30 in the morning. She typically woke up at this time and walked with two of the trackers on her team. Judd wore a headlamp with new batteries in it, but the light wasn’t shining as bright as she was used to. A tree had fallen on the path. She didn’t see it. She was walking quickly. That’s when she fell. Her leg broke in four places. When Ashley Judd first reached medical help, there was a question about whether she would be able to keep her leg. Despite the seriousness of her injuries, her doctors say she will fully recover.
Currently, bonobos are endangered. They are only found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They are peaceful apes known for being the closest relative to humans. Unfortunately, these apes face threats like loss of habitat due to deforestation and the bushmeat trade. Ashley Judd was there to bring more attention to the bonobos. She has said she hopes to use her accident to shift the focus and conversation more toward the endangered apes.
This is in line with much of what we hear about Ashley Judd these days. When she isn’t in Africa researching bonobos, she has been working with several organizations on social issues. In 2020, she worked on campaigns for the US election. She is often speaking up for women’s rights. She is also in a long and ongoing legal battle against Harvey Weinstein.
Currently, Ashley Judd is remaining in Africa while she recovers in an ICU.