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Ashley Judd Reveals What Saved Her Leg After Accident

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Ashley Judd is opening up about her intensive leg and foot recovery.

The actress shattered her leg during an excursion to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in February 2021, then suffered another leg fracture during a “freak accident” shortly after her mother’s death in 2022.

In a lengthy Instagram post, Judd, 56, shared how functional training exercises have helped her heal.

“Y’all are so awesome for cheering me on, and I notice how often you ask about my leg and foot recovery,” she wrote. “That accident in DRC was hellacious to a factor of 10. I remain grateful to my siblings there who saved my life and encouraged my spirit as I was carried out of the depths of the second lung of the planet for 67 hours to get medical attention and that first pain medicine.”

Matching the caption’s uplifting attitude, the Instagram reel was posted to the song “Unstoppable” by Sia.

“It’s been a long journey to full recovery: I have had a parasite (gone now, and featured, thank you, in the New England Journal of Medicine, so exotic was it), mono, big weight gain, and now loss, finally a diagnosis of a sleepiness sleep disorder (I now know why I always napped over lunch on movie sets!), and more!” Judd continued. “Every day, I am profoundly grateful for SAG/AFTRA union insurance & my healthcare team. Saved my leg, saved my life.”

Ashley Judd details her leg and foot recovery on Instagram.Ashley Judd/Instagram

In the video, Judd said, “In February 2021, I was in an accident in the DRC. I had a Schatzker V tibial plateau fracture, a paralyzed right foot, my leg had no pulse and I was hemorrhaging.” She then instructed the doctor who said her foot would never move again to “watch this.” The reel showcased Judd successfully doing a variety of exercises on both feet, even sometimes balancing on one.

Judd credits functional training exercises for saving her leg. 

“Now, I add PT & Functional Strength Trainer Maggie Mullins to that crack team!” she wrote in the caption. “We are addressing that once-paralyzed nerve and nearly amputated leg in order to add more technical hiking to my abilities: uneven terrain with loose rocks and carrying a big heavy backpack again. Being able to load my right knee sideways, power up off my right foot, do sideways agility, reverse lunges on stairs holding uneven weights…miracles, all. And, sit cross-legged! I was not supposed to be able to do that ever again! The balancing is just incredible. She’ll have me pause mid-air and turn my head to each side: ‘Look at the bear!’ And I can do it.”

Ashley Judd shares videos of her leg and foot recovery on Instagram.Ashley Judd/Instagram

“When I had my nerve conduction study in 2021, the Doctor said, ‘I do not know that this foot will ever move again.’ To that dude….watch this,” Judd continued. “I am realistic, so of course, I feel a little intimidated by Yellowstone National Park. And, I am enthralled by Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone, I am excited to meet you!”

Since the beginning of her recovery, Judd has shared her inspiring journey and provided that she’s a survivor.

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