Not only is Ashley Judd an actress and activist herself, but she also grew up with famous family members. Her mom, Naomi, and half-sister, Wynonna, are renowned country music stars. Despite the fame, however, Judd had a difficult childhood and experienced many tragedies as she rose in Hollywood. In fact, the whole Judd family has a sad history. But Judd has remained resilient in spite of these difficulties and was actually one of the first actresses to speak out against Harvey Weinstein, thus putting her clout behind the #MeToo movement.
While activist Tarana Burke began the movement itself, according to the BBC, it helped to have the weight of Hollywood behind it, with momentum from the likes of Alyssa Milano and Judd. In fact, Burke spoke about this with Radio 1 Newsbeat. “It’s not just social media, it’s who brought it to social media, and how it was brought to social media,” Burke explained. “Those women who got up and came forward around Harvey Weinstein had no idea that it was going to spark a global movement” (via BBC). In a remarkable moment of forgiveness, Judd actually said that she forgave Weinstein.
With this already painful past, it is unfortunate to report that Judd is facing extreme physical pain and has been admitted to the intensive care unit at a hospital in South Africa. Here’s the story.
Ashley Judd had a 55-hour journey to the ICU
Ashley Judd was in the Congo doing conservation work with bonobos, according to Page Six, when she fell. Judd spoke about the experience with Nicholas Kristof, a reporter for The New York Times, over Instagram Live on Feb. 12, 2021. Judd explained that she was tracking bonobos, which are a species of endangered apes, and fell over a fallen tree, breaking her leg in four different places. The breaks also resulted in nerve damage.
“I was at the very edge of my edge,” Judd explained. On the journey to get medical attention, she was moved by motorcycle (a journey that lasted 6 hours) or by hand and, during some moments, she had to bite down on a stick while she “howled like a wild animal.” She did manage to get medical treatment 55 hours later and tuned into the Instagram Live call from the ICU trauma unit in South Africa.
While Judd was obviously in pain, she was sure to point out how lucky she was and the difference between the treatment she received to that of what a Congolese person would have received in the same circumstances. “The difference between a Congolese person and me,” she told Kristof, “is disaster insurance.” She pointed out that she got such effective medical treatment because she was able to pay for it.
It sounds like a harrowing experience and we are so glad she got the treatment she needed. Plus, she used her voice to draw attention to areas of the world that do not have access to advanced medical care.
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