Ashley Judd Reveals Scary New Details About Almost Losing Her Life

In recent years, Ashley Judd has become known for her activism work, specifically related to the Bonobo Conservation Initiative, per Live Kindly. This non-profit organization aims to protect the endangered great ape species through conservation programs. As part of her work with the organization, the "Olympus Has Fallen" actor has traveled back and forth to the Democratic Republic of the Congo where the wild bonobo populations reside. During one such trip in February 2021, Judd sustained a terrible accident during a hike, which shattered her leg in four places and left her with considerable nerve damage, as she posted on Instagram.

In the same post, the two-time Golden Globe nominee detailed the experience. She wrote, "Without my Congolese brothers and sisters, my internal bleeding would have likely killed me, and I would have lost my leg." Judd waited five hours for help to arrive. When it did, she was transported in a makeshift hammock while she "screamed and writhed" in pain. In a follow-up post, the actor revealed that she was taken to a hospital in South Africa. She explained, "I arrived to them from DRC in terrible shape and my leg had no pulse. I desperately needed a blood transfusion." Eventually, she was transferred to "an American hospital" where she underwent an "8-hour surgery to repair the bones, decompress the hemorrhaging nerve and pick the shards of bones out of the nerve."

One year later, Judd revealed in an interview how she managed to get through the scary experience. 

Ashley Judd has made an incredible recovery

On March 8, Ashley Judd joined Kate Roberts on her podcast "Sex, Body & Soul" (via People) to discuss the accident that left her leg broken in several locations during a hike in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in February 2021. The actor examined how her "skilled" mindset allowed her to get through the 55-hour ordeal. Throughout her stay in a hospital in South Africa before being medevacked to Tennessee, Judd worked hard to not "make it anybody else's fault" nor "take it out on the people around [her]," she told Roberts. Ultimately, she said, "I just had no expectations, and I knew that I could only do it one breath at a time," adding later, "... I would get to the edge of my edge and I would try to soften, and I would try to find more spaces inside of me."

While the past year has understandably been tough for the "Double Jeopardy" star, she has shown her strength and determination through the healing process with periodic updates on her Instagram page. In August 2021, she revealed in a post that she took her first steps just five months following the incident. She expressed her gratitude toward everyone who made the milestone possible and added, "My leg will never be the same. She is a new leg. And I love her. We are buddies. We have a come a long way and we have a fabulous life ahead."