Ashley Judd is walking again 5 months after nearly losing her leg in an accident: 'We have come a long way'

·4 min read

Ashley Judd is back on her feet. 

Just five months after nearly losing her leg in a harrowing accident, the actress, 53, is able to walk again, according to her latest social media posts.

"Today, five months and three weeks after the accident in the Congolese rainforest, I walked again, and in what fashion!" Judd captioned her series of Instagram photos and videos, some of which were taken during a hike in Switzerland. "I hiked in the #SwissNationalPark. Stepping in, I felt in my ease, my natural garment of self, at home in my spirit. My leg and foot, worked beautifully. I walked up hill on uneven surfaces for an hour confidently and came down carefully and easily. I rested in a meadow on God’s fecund earth for hours. The next day, I walked again on a high Alp in #Ticino, working hard and feeling how much stamina I have to rebuild. This is the road ahead. But I am up to the daily tasks, as I am even carrying firewood into our Alpine hut!"

In subsequent photos and videos, Judd showed herself wiggling her injured foot. She went on to thank the people that helped her recover from the catastrophic accident. 

"I have so many people to thank for helping to make my recovery possible," she said, thanking her team of doctors, and explaining that it was expected to take an entire year for her leg to potentially start functioning again.

"The video of my foot moving is unheard of. We expected my foot — if ever — to *begin* to move in one year," said Judd. "In four months to the day, she went and blew us all away. Now, after crying while trying to spell the ABCs with a paralyzed foot... well, you see!"

While Judd recognizes that her "leg will never be the same," she still has a tremendous sense of gratitude for her recovery.

"She is a new leg. And I love her. We are buddies. We have a come a long way and we have a fabulous life ahead," said Judd, reflecting on the eight-hour surgery and subsequent physical therapy and osteopathy that helped her heal. 

"Just look at the last video for comparison, that was where I was just two months ago (always trying to be in nature, when I could barely walk!)," said Judd, showing a video of herself smiling as she walked with crutches through a forest. "Many of you have been praying for me, and sending me notes. Thank you. I have felt you. I have especially been held by family and my partner. Peace be with you."

Video: Ashley Judd shares update on recovery after tragic leg injury

One person who has stuck in Judd's corner is her mother, Naomi Judd. During a March appearance on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, the country singer called her daughter “very courageous, and she's healing. It's really hard to see her like this, but she lives next door," said Judd, Yahoo TV previously reported. "So I'm going to go up and take her stitches out when we're done because I used to be a nurse before I became a singer.”

The actress nearly lost her leg during the February accident in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, when she "tripped over a fallen tree" at 4:30 a.m. while doing conservation work for bonobos, an endangered primate. After an "incredibly harrowing 55 hours" and being stranded on the ground while "howling like a wild animal" from pain, she was carried to safety. The subsequent recovery period was particularly grueling for Judd, who said "nights are a savage agony." 

"I do not understand why what has happened has happened," she wrote on Instagram back in March, Yahoo Entertainment previously reported. "I do understand I have been loved and helped enormously. I understand nights are a savage agony." Judd thanked medical professionals "for seven hours of intensive, brilliant, inspired surgical work on my bones and nerve" adding, "it took stamina, focus and humility to consult with some experts around the country, whom I also deeply thank… I loved the sweet spirit of the janitor who cleaned my room, my bright-spot-of-the-day-gal from nutrition, and always, my bright and tender nurses."

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