Back in February, we reported that the Hollywood star Ashley Judd had shattered her leg and suffered nerve damage in a terrifying ape-tracking accident in the Congo in Africa. Now, the 53 year-old actress is giving an update on her recovery process two months after the devastating injury.

“I am getting back up,” Judd wrote on Instagram. “I remember when I began sleeping through the night. I remember when I began to have dreams again (both kinds). With the kind of injury I (& many others) have, we speak of degrees. In the video, 109 degrees was an outrageous dream, & trying to reach it was agony. I did 60 of those heel slides a day. I sobbed through them. I made it because of the loving exhortation and validation of my many friends.”

“Yesterday, I effortlessly reached the benchmark of 130 degrees,” she added. “I can nearly reach my knee as you see in one picture. My feet can rest almost parallel. The knee is coming along, the four fractures healing. The peroneal nerve injury will take at least a year I concentrate hard at moving my very still foot (and appreciate my sister’s medical-grade massages which remind my brain that I do have a right foot). Come June, I will walk with a brace and a cane.”

“But look out, Patagonia, because when that nerve heals, you’ll be seeing me,”Judd continued. “My Partner gave me that book for my recent birthday. I believe. Just as that little endangered bonobo knows that she’ll be seeing me back in the Congolese rain forest soon.”

She conduced her post with the Bible verse Psalm 84: 5-6, which goes, “Blessed are those whose strength is in you Who have set their hearts on a pilgrimage. Passing through the valley of Weeping They make it a place of springs.”


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Judd was trying to track a rare ape in Africa when she tripped over a tree stump and shattered her leg in four places. She then underwent 55 hours of agony as those with her tried to get her from a remote area of the Congo to somewhere where she could get medical treatment.

Judd was carried out of the forest for hours and placed on a motorcycle for a ride that lasted hours as well. She was then flown to South Africa, where she was given the medical treatment she needed before being flown back to the states, where she underwent an eight hour surgery that saved her leg.

“In an American hospital, I had to continue to wait for the tissue damage and swelling to reduce. Eventually I was qualified to have the 8-hour surgery to repair the bones, decompress the hemorrhaging nerve and pick the shards of bones out of the nerve. I am now recovering from surgery,” she said last month.

“I’m very thankful to all of the experts, including that expert pictured, my Pop, who is rubbing my foot to remind my foot while it still cannot move that it is connected to my body,” Ashley added. “I am up and around already. Thank you for your care and kind words.  Let us always remember those without insurance.  Let us remember those who do have choices. Let us remember those who are lonely and afraid.”


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