SURVIVAL MODE

Soap Opera Digest|July 6, 2020

SURVIVAL MODE
How DAYS’s Judi Evans Is Triumphing Over Tragedy
Stephanie Sloane

On December 13, 2019, Judi Evans was dealt a devastating, life-altering blow when her beloved son, Austin, passed away at the age of 23. Then, on May 16, 2020, Evans was out riding her horse and wound up in the hospital for weeks, where she contracted coronavirus and nearly had her legs amputated. Here, the actress opens up about the last six months of her life, and how she’s doing now that she’s recovering at home.

Soap Opera Digest: Let’s start with the riding accident. What happened?

Judi Evans: I was obviously very depressed and not leaving my couch for a long time. My husband and some friends were like, “You know, maybe start working with your horses again. It makes you feel like you’re part of the world again. You got to come back.” So I did. I had already taken the one horse I had the accident on out a day before. We had a wonderful ride out in the river bank. On the second day, we were riding and she started acting very strange, like turning around trying to nip at my toes. She sensed something I didn’t. We were in some very lush trails and we popped out onto a road. A few yards away from us, three men on horseback popped out of another trail. You know that instant feeling of, “Oh, not good”? And then I heard one of them say, “There she is.” I didn’t really want to stick around to find out what they meant, and neither did my horse. We whirled around, we went back into some marsh trails and tried to double back and put some distance between us and them. So we were trotting, trying to get away from them and head back to the barn. We came to this big sandy area and my foot came out of the stirrup. I gripped harder with my legs, which to her said, “Go faster.” I’m trying to stop her and she’s scared and running and doing 15, 20 miles an hour. I’m like, “I can’t get her under control, I’ll just lean over as far as possible and throw myself off. It’s sand. Sand is soft. It shouldn’t be a problem.” I mean, I’ve done it on hard ground and haven’t had a problem. So, I did, and sand is not soft at all! I knew I broke some bad things in my left side. Of course, she ran back to the barn. My phone and my keys were in my saddlebag. I popped up immediately ’cause I’m like, “I don’t know how far we got away from these guys so let me start walking.”

Some passersby saw Evans and called 911. She was taken to the hospital.

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July 6, 2020