The actress, 52, shared a series of pics snapped as she was being rescued via Instagram on Tuesday, February 16, detailing the frightening experience for her followers.
“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 saving during my grueling 55 hour odyssey,” Judd began. “Here are some of their stories. Dieumerci stretched out his leg and put it under my grossly misshapen left leg to try and keep it still. It was broken in four places and had nerve damage.”
The All That is Bitter and Sweet author continued: “Dieumerci (‘Thanks be to God’) remained seated, without fidgeting for 5 hours on the rain forest floor. He was with my 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.”
Judd credited Papa Jean with keeping her alive, noting, “He had to do this twice!”
She went on to share: “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 [sic]. 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.”
The Divergent star revealed in her post that no one else would volunteer for the job. She said of Maradona, “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 then recalled the many women in Congo who also came to her aid.
“The women! My sisters who held me. They blessed me,” she wrote.
The Star Trek: The Next Generation alum acknowledged her “privilege” through the whole experience, recalling spending a night “in a hut” in the Congolese city of Jolu before flying to Kinshasa and, eventually, South Africa to be treated in an intensive care unit.
“I’m in a lot of love. I’m in a lot of compassion and I’m in a lot of gratitude,” she told fans during an Instagram Live last week. “I thank everyone for their prayers and their support.
Judd first revealed her injuries on Friday, February 12, during an Instagram Live with New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. She said at the time she was visiting the Congo with a team of researchers examining bonobo apes when she fell while walking through the rainforest.
“I was doing what I always do, [got] up at 4:30 in the morning with two of our trackers … my headlamp had new batteries but it was a little faint, it wasn’t working quite properly,” she explained. “Accidents happen and there was a fallen tree on the path, which I didn’t see. I had a very powerful stride going and I just fell over this tree.”
Scroll through the gallery below to see more from her time in Congo.