• Ashley Judd is in the intensive care unit after suffering "catastrophic injuries" in the Congo
  • Judd detailed the harrowing 55 hours that followed after she fell and shattered her leg
  • Judd brought attention to the lack of adequate health care in the Congo

Ashley Judd is recovering at an ICU trauma unit in South Africa after shattering her leg in a "catastrophic" accident in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

A teary-eyed Judd opened up about the harrowing accident Friday in an interview with New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof over Instagram Live. The humanitarian said she is "in an ICU trauma unit in beautiful South Africa, which has taken me in from the Congo: a country I deeply love which is not, unfortunately, equipped to deal with massive catastrophic injuries like I have had."

Detailing the accident, the "Divergent" star said it occurred while she was on a trip to Congo to research Bonobos, an endangered great apes species. Judd tripped over a fallen tree and broke her leg, which she blamed on a faulty headlamp that made it difficult for her to see during the excursion.

According to Judd, the next 55 hours had been "incredibly harrowing," starting from the five hours she was lying on the forest floor, waiting to be evacuated. One of her colleagues helped support her "badly misshapen" leg, while another sought help.

The ordeal, which she said left her "at the very edge of my edge," saw her being hand-carried for an hour and a half in a hammock by a Congolese man who walked barefoot up and over the hills and through the river before making it back to their camp. She then rode on a motorcycle for six hours before reaching the hospital in South Africa.

"I had to physically hold the top part of my shattered tibia together," she recalled.

Throughout the trip, she said she had bitten down on a stick "howling like a wild animal" while losing and regaining her consciousness and repeating the Bible passage, "The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want."

The whole incident once more made Judd realize how privileged she was to have access to medical care. She believes that a Congolese person in the same position would have likely lost their leg or even their life.

"And the difference between a Congolese person and me is disaster insurance that allowed me 55 hours after my accident to get to an operating table in South Africa," she said, acknowledging that Congo villages lack electricity and access to a "simple pill to kill the pain when you've shattered a leg in four places and have nerve damage."

"Bonobos matter. And so do the people in whose ancestral forest they range and the other 25,600,000 Congolese in need of humanitarian assistance," she added.

As for her injury, Judd said her right foot is currently lame, and it will take time and intensive physical therapy to heal it.

"Of course, I will walk again, because I'm determined, and I believe in modern science, and I also believe in miracles, but there's not really a time frame for when I'm gonna be bipedal," she said. "I have a journey ahead of me."

[9:36] Actresses Ashley Judd (L) and Jane Fonda arrive for the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner
Ashley Judd (left) and Jane Fonda arrive for the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington, April 25, 2015. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst