Ashley Judd is shining a light on the people who came to her aid after she broke her leg in Congo while walking in a forest.
The actor, 52, shared photos and a video on her Instagram page on Tuesday, thanking all of the men and women who helped her.
“Friends. Without my Congolese brothers and sisters, my internal bleeding would have likely killed me, and I would have lost my leg. I wake up weeping in gratitude, deeply moved by each person who contributed something life giving and spirit salving during my grueling 55 hour odyssey,” she began.
The photos feature Judd being carried on a makeshift gurney and resting on a floor while her leg was wrapped. There are also photos and a video of two men driving her on a scooter, as well as a pair of photos of two women tending to her and some more pictures of one of the men who helped her.
Judd, who had previously chronicled what happened in a pair of Instagram Live videos hosted by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof after she was transported to a hospital in South Africa, characterized her experience last Friday as "an incredibly harrowing 55 hours." She made sure to single out the people who helped save her at the time, while also describing just how bad the situation was.
“Dieumerci stretched out his leg and put it under my grossly misshapen left leg to try to keep it still,” she wrote. “It was broken in four places and had nerve damage. Dieumerci (‘Thanks be to God’) remained seated, without fidgeting or flinching, for 5 hours on the rain forest floor. He was with me in my primal pain. He was my witness.
“Papa Jean: it took 5 hours, but eventually he found me, wretched and wild on the ground, and calmly assessed my broken leg. He told me what he had to do. I bit a stick. I held onto Maud. And Papa Jean, with certainty began to manipulate and adjust my broken bones back into something like a position I could be transported in, while I screamed and writhed. How he did that so methodically while I was like an animal is beyond me. He saved me. & he had to do this twice!”
The "Double Jeopardy" star also thanked the multiple people who kept her as still as possible, thus preventing any further damage.
“The six men who carefully moved me into the hammock with as little jostling as possible, who then walked for 3 hours over rough terrain carrying me out. Heros,” she wrote. “Didier and Maradona: Didier drove the motorbike. I sat facing backwards, his back my backrest. When I would begin to slump, to pass out, he would call to me to re-set my position to lean on him.
“Maradona rode on the very back of the motorbike, i faced him. He held my broken leg under the heel and I held the shattered top part together with my two hands. Together we did this for 6 hours on an irregular, rutted and pocked dirt road that has gullies for rain run off during the rainy season. Maradona was the only person to come forward to volunteer for this task. We have a nice friendship, discussing the pros and cons of polygamy and monogamy. I show two pictures, one in his hat and one in mine, which he dearly covets!"
Judd also expressed her appreciation for the women who stayed by her side.
“The women! My sisters who held me. They blessed me,” she finished.