AceShowbiz - Ashley Judd has been hospitalised in South Africa after breaking her leg and suffering "catastrophic injuries" following a conservation trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The "Double Jeopardy" star was on one of her regular trips to the rainforest to help protect the bonobo, an endangered great ape, when she tripped over a fallen tree and fell awkwardly, shattering her leg in four places and leaving her with nerve damage.
Judd revealed all about the drama in an Instagram Live chat with her friend and New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof on Friday (12Feb21), when she shared her story from her hospital bed in an intensive care unit for trauma patients in South Africa, where she had been transported after a 55-hour nightmare.
Blaming a faulty head lamp for her fall, she admitted she had to bite down on a stick to deal with the pain shooting through her body, which began going into shock as she and her two companions waited for five hours for help.
She was then put in a hammock for transport, before climbing onto the back of a motorbike for an hours-long journey to seek medical attention, and eventually being flown to South Africa to undergo surgery.
"I held my shattered tibia together with my hands as we drove...," she explained of the motorbike ride.
"The entire evacuation took 55 hours. I nearly lost my leg."
Judd insists she is grateful to be able to afford disaster insurance to pay for her emergency care following the "incredibly harrowing" experience because she knows locals would not be so lucky.
"I'm in a lot of love. I'm in a lot of compassion and I'm in a lot of gratitude," the actress said. "I thank everyone for their thoughts and their prayers and their support."