American actress Ashley Judd says she nearly lost a leg in a “catastrophic” fall while hiking in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The 52-year-old star was sent to an intensive care unit after suffering serious injuries in a horror fall in the African country.

She was transferred to a hospital in South Africa because the DRC did not have the necessary medical treatment to deal with her injuries.

Speaking from her hospital bed, Ashley – who has starred in films such as Double Jeopardy and the Divergent film series – gave a sobering update.

She told the New York Times: “[I am] in an intensive care unit trauma unit in beautiful South Africa, which welcomed me from the Congo: a country that I deeply love that does not unfortunately is not equipped to deal with massive catastrophic injuries like I have had.

“And the difference between a Congolese and me is a catastrophe insurance that allowed me 55 hours after my accident to go to an operating table in South Africa.

She explained that she had broken her leg “in four places” and suffered “nerve damage” when speaking from her bed.

Discussing the incident on social media with the US media outlet, Ashley explained that the accident happened when her headlamp broke and she tripped over a fallen tree.

She said she was left “screaming like a wild animal” as she lay on the forest floor for five hours as rescuers tried to reach her.

She then passed out in pain and “began to be in shock” in the midst of the agony.

Ashley was then “taken out of the rainforest by my Congolese brothers, who were doing it barefoot, up hills, across the river,” which took an hour and a half, before she could stand a walk. six hours by motorbike to the hospital.

She was then transferred to Kinshasa for 24 hours, before finally flying to South Africa.

She said: “I am very in love. I am very compassionate and very grateful.

“I thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers and support.”