Ashley Judd goes on a 22-hour hike back to the United States after nearly losing her leg in the rainforest in Congo

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“I can feel my heart beating out of my chest,” said Judd as she took her first steps with a walker. She still cannot move her leg on her own. (Screenshot: Ashley Judd via Instagram)

Ashley Judd is back in the US after almost losing her leg in a rainforest fall in the Congo.

The Different and A time to kill The 52-year-old actress shared an update after leaving the South African hospital, where she was initially treated for her broken leg – which had “no pulse” when she arrived at the facility – and traveling back to the States 22 hours. The Tennessee-based star, whose leg was broken in four places and whose tissue and nerve damage made him “lame”, has since been operated on for 8 hours. She also took her first steps with the help of a walker as she still cannot move the limb.

Judd, who traveled 55 hours from the scene of the accident in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the South African hospital where she was for 10 days, “then made the 22 hours – 4 flights – to America” ​​with an ambulance plane back to the USA

At the US hospital, “I continued to wait for the tissue damage and swelling to decrease,” she wrote. “Finally, I was qualified for the 8-hour operation to repair the bones, decompress the bleeding nerve, and extract the fragments of bone from the nerve. I am now recovering from the operation.”

(Screenshot: Ashley Judd via Instagram) (Screenshot: Ashley Judd via Instagram)

Judd has her leg stabilized with the external fixator in South Africa. (Screenshot: Ashley Judd via Instagram)

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With the help of a hiker, she announced: “I’m already up and down.” Judd, whose leg is still lame, previously said she had no timeline of when she could walk alone again.

The star when it comes to thanking those who participated in the final stages of their journey.

“I would like to express my deepest and most vulnerable thanks to Sunninghill Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa for making split-second decisions upon my arrival,” she wrote along with a video of the nurses there. “I came to you terribly from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.” Form and my leg had no pulse. I urgently needed a blood transfusion. Your sisters (nurses) are exemplary, technically first class, and they have handled the trauma in my body and soul with equal competence. Pictured here, once I was stable, there is carefree laughter and exhilaration. “

She went on to thank “all the experts” including Dr. Eugene Greeff, the orthopedic surgeon who “super stabilized my leg with the external fixator until the massive soft tissue damage and swelling subsided, so I could have the big surgery [in the U.S.]. What he did was meaningful and I am forever indebted to him. It must be noted that I was cared for during the Covid B.1.351 strain plaguing RSA. Sunninghill is world class and a wonder. Many thanks to my trauma surgeon, anesthetist, director of nursing, hospital management – everyone. “

The rest was a tribute to her “beloved father” Michael Ciminella, who had received the text no parent would ever want: “Emergency, can’t answer questions, please come now” “and was able to fly to South Africa” ​​because he is vaccinated. “

Judd, the daughter of Naomi Judd, said Ciminella “has been my rock, companion, my resource, has helped me listen to so many doctors, a critical support system, and a friendly, loving presence as I have cried and cried.” She said he also “rubbed my foot to remind my foot, while still unable to move, that it is connected to my body”.

(Screenshot: Ashley Judd via Instagram)(Screenshot: Ashley Judd via Instagram)

Judd’s father has been by her side since she arrived in South Africa. (Screenshot: Ashley Judd via Instagram)

The United Nations Goodwill Ambassador added, “Let us always remember those without insurance. Let us remember those who have choices. Let us remember those who are lonely and fearful.”

Judd’s ex-husband, retired racing driver Dario Franchitti, responded to her post with three flexed biceps emojis and two “x” kisses.

The star first revealed on February 12 that she had a “catastrophic accident” while doing bonobo protection work in a remote area of ​​the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (Her “life partner” runs a bonobo research camp there.) It took 55 hours – including six hours on a motorcycle holding her leg with her hands and a flight in a bush plane – to get her to the hospital. She had no pain medication and bit a stick to try to relieve the pain.

Judd, a wildlife professional who works with the monkeys in the Congo for four to six weeks twice a year, previously said: “It will take time [the] Heal nerve. And there will be intense physical therapy … Of course I will leave again because I am determined and believe in modern science and miracles too. But there really isn’t a time frame for that [recovery]. I have a journey ahead of me. “

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