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Ashley Judd describes how she ‘nearly lost’ her leg in Congo

UPDATED: Sun., Feb. 14, 2021

In this April 30, 2018 photo, actress Ashley Judd speaks during a discussion on feminism at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif. Judd has recounted a painful ordeal that she believes almost cost her leg after tripping in a Congolese rainforest and having to be evacuated by motorbike. In one of two Instagram Live videos hosted Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, the actor said she was stuck on the ground for five hours with a “badly misshapen leg,” biting a stick because of pain, and “howling like a wild animal.”  (Jae C. Hong)
In this April 30, 2018 photo, actress Ashley Judd speaks during a discussion on feminism at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif. Judd has recounted a painful ordeal that she believes almost cost her leg after tripping in a Congolese rainforest and having to be evacuated by motorbike. In one of two Instagram Live videos hosted Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, the actor said she was stuck on the ground for five hours with a “badly misshapen leg,” biting a stick because of pain, and “howling like a wild animal.” (Jae C. Hong)
By Mark Kennedy Associated Press

NEW YORK — Ashley Judd has recounted a painful ordeal she believes almost cost her leg after tripping in a Congolese rainforest and having to be evacuated by motorbike.

In one of two Instagram Live videos hosted Friday by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, the actress said she was stuck on the ground for five hours with a “badly misshapen leg,” biting a stick because of pain, and “howling like a wild animal.”

Judd was injured when she and researchers were up early in a rainforest looking for bonobos when she tripped over a log and the fall shattered her tibia. She was carried out the rainforest in a hammock and back to camp.

Then she was evacuated by motorbike, with a driver steering and another man “holding the top part of my shattered tibia together.” That trip lasted six hours.

She described it as a “catastrophic accident” and added that she “nearly lost my leg.” She conducted the interview from a hospital bed in South Africa and revealed that if she wasn’t a famous actor, she thinks she might have lost her leg and her life during the 55-hour ordeal.

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