Ashley Judd is giving her Instagram followers a health update after her nearly-fatal fall in the Congolese rain forest earlier this year. Judd has been sharing her recovery journey on Instagram, documenting the process of being rescued, transported and treated.
“Without my Congolese brothers and sisters, my internal bleeding would have likely killed me, and I would have lost my leg,” she wrote in February 2021. After the grueling 55-hour rescue mission, Judd was treated in Sunninghill Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa before flying back to America for another operation.
Now, Judd is in the recovery phase of her heath journey. And although the process is “agony” at times, she is managing to keep her optimistic attitude.
Judd quoted Colette Werden in her post. “It’s okay if you fall down and lose your spark. Just make sure that when you get back up, you rise as the whole damn fire,” she echoed Werden’s motivational words, which seem to be fueling her through her body’s healing process.
“I am getting back up,” Judd explained. “I remember when I began sleeping through the night. I remember when I began to have dreams again (both kinds).”
Judd then gave more details on her injury and the physical therapy aspect of her recovery, which often left her “sobb[ing].” She explained, “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.”
But her hard work has paid off, and she is already noticing improvement in her mobility. “Yesterday, I effortlessly reached the benchmark of 130 degrees. I can nearly reach my knee as you see in one picture. My feet can rest almost parallel.”
Judd’s knee is also beginning to heal. “The knee is coming along,” she wrote. “The four fractures [are] healing.”
However, her nerve damage will require a longer, more difficult recovery process. “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).”
Despite these challenges, Judd is looking to the future with optimism and determination. “Come June, I will walk with a brace and a cane,” she wrote.
And she has plans to celebrate once she is feeling well enough. “[L]ook out, Patagonia, because when that nerve heals, you’ll be seeing me… Just as that little endangered bonobo knows that she’ll be seeing me back in the Congolese rain forest soon.”
We hope her spirits stay high as she continues to recover!