Actor Ashley Judd is appreciative of the ubuntu she received in Africa after her horrific accident in the Congo jungle.
During a trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) earlier this month, the “Double Jeopardy” star severely injured her leg during a sightseeing venture to see the endangered bonobo apes.
Judd said she nearly lost her leg due to the accident and the extent of her injuries included internal bleeding and nerve damage. She hailed the initial treatment she received from the Congolese people for saving her limb and possibly her life with herbal medicine.
A week later she was then transported to Sunninghill Hospital in Johannesburg on 24 February. She posted her “deepest and most vulnerable thanks” to the nurses at the hospital.
“I arrived to them from DRC in terrible shape and my leg had no pulse. I desperately needed a blood transfusion. Their sisters (nurses) are exemplary, technically top-notch, and they cared for the trauma in my body as well as my soul with equal proficiency…
“Sunninghill is world class and a wonder. Thank you to my trauma surgeon, anesthesiologist, head of nursing, hospital management – everyone. ”
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Judd then received further treatment in the US to undergo an eight-hour operation to repair the bones in her leg, decompress the haemorrhaging nerve and pick shards of bones out of the nerve. She is now recovering.
Judd’s trip to the DRC was to research and bring attention to the endangered bonobo pygmy chimpanzees and how people can help prevent their plight. As an ambassador to Bonobo Peace Forest, Judd has lent her voice to the cause.
Bonobos are sister species to the chimpanzees and there are less than 15 000 remaining in the wild. According to Bonobo Conservation Inititatve they face imminent threat of extinction unless there are massive efforts to protect them from poachers and secure their habitat.
(Compiled by Sandisiwe Mbhele)