Ashley Judd Gives Update on Recovery After 8-Hour Leg Surgery


Making progress. Ashley Judd shared an update on her recovery after undergoing grueling surgery for her shattered leg bones.

“Dear Friends, Ubuntu. I am because we are,” the 52-year-old actress wrote in a lengthy Instagram post on Monday, February 22, less than two weeks after she detailed her dangerous rescue from an African rainforest. “I want to give my deepest and most vulnerable thanks to Sunninghill Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa, for making split second decisions upon my arrival. I arrived to them from DRC in terrible shape and my leg had no pulse.”

Ashley Judd Is 'Thankful' After Undergoing 8-Hour Surgery for Leg Injury
Ashley Judd. Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Judd “desperately needed a blood transfusion” when she finally reached the hospital and was put in the care of “top notch” nurses, who “cared for the trauma in my body as well as my soul with equal proficiency.” Her social media upload showed a joyful moment with her medical team after she was stabilized in the ICU and another photo of her primary doctor.

“What he did was significant and I am forever in his debt,” the Divergent actress continued. “It must be noted I was being cared for during the Covid B.1.351 strain that is plaguing [the Republic of South Africa]. Sunninghill is world class and a wonder. Thank you to my trauma surgeon, anesthesiologist, head of nursing, hospital management — everyone.”

Earlier this month, Judd went into gruesome detail about an “incredibly harrowing” accident she experienced in the Congo, which left her leg “shattered” in four places. Her “massive catastrophic injuries” required a 55-hour rescue mission to transfer her safely from the Congo, whose healthcare system was “not equipped” to handle her needs, to South Africa.

As she continues her recovery, the Emmy nominee is grateful for the support she’s received from friends and family, including her “beloved” father, Michael Ciminella, who traveled safely to South Africa to be by his daughter’s side. He later accompanied her on a 22-hour journey back to the United States for additional treatment.

“He has been my rock, companion, resource, helped me listen to so many doctors, critical support system, and kind, loving presence as I have wept and wept,” Judd wrote on Monday. “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.”

The All That is Bitter and Sweet author is making impressive strides after her fall — and is “up and around already” with the help of a walker.

“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,” she concluded. “Thank you for your care and kind words. Let us always remember those without insurance. Let us remember those who do not have choices. Let us remember those who are lonely and afraid.”

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