Ashley Judd would have “bled to death” if she’d been taken to Europe instead of South Africa following her traumatic accident in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Double Jeopardy star broke her right leg in four places while hiking through a forest in the African country in February 2021. She laid on the forest floor for five hours, was carried back to camp via a hammock, driven on the back of a motorcycle for six hours and then flown to hospital, with the whole rescue taking around 55 hours.
During an appearance on the Sex, Body & Soul podcast, Ashley revealed the accident could have been fatal if her medical evacuation (medevac) was to Europe instead of South Africa.
“I was in hospital in South Africa about nine days. And then I was medevaced to Tennessee. But when I got to South Africa my leg didn’t have a pulse and I was haemorrhaging, and if I had been medevaced to Europe I would’ve bled to death,” she told host Kate Roberts.
Reflecting on the experience, the 53-year-old explained that she had to take it “one breath at a time” to help her get through the pain.
“I don’t know how the mind and the body and the soul come together to manage to endure the unendurable,” she said. “I bit a stick, I screamed, I howled, I convulsed. I never did pass out — I wished that I could.
“I knew that I couldn’t have expectations, for example, of when I might get help or if there will be a painkiller, or anything. And I just had no expectations, and I knew that I could only do it one breath at a time.”
Despite the incident, Ashley revealed on the podcast, which was recorded last year, that she was going back to the Congo in January because it’s “where I belong”.
– Cover Media