This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," December 5, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Everything seemed absolutely perfect for supermodel Petra Nemcova and then in a split second it all changed. The deadly tsunami that killed hundreds of thousands of people last December swept Petra and her boyfriend out of their bungalow killing him and leaving her clinging to life. In a new book called "Love Always Petra" she describes the terrifying experience.
Earlier we caught up with the brave model.
VAN SUSTEREN: Petra, nice to see you.
PETRA NEMCOVA, MODEL: Nice to see you. How are you?
VAN SUSTEREN: I'm very well but how are you?
NEMCOVA: I'm great. Thank you very much. I'm recovered and very happy and thankful for every moment.
VAN SUSTEREN: Boy you went through an unbelievably horrible tragic experience and so many thousands of others have.
NEMCOVA: That's the thing it was not just me but unfortunately I think almost 300,000 people which is an incredible number. And, for me, it was a hard experience but I have learned a lot and I'm just trying to focus on the good things. And, I believe that everybody goes through tragedies but we can take this experience and make it into something more meaningful in our lives so that's what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to do my best.
VAN SUSTEREN: What was the first sign that you noticed that something horrible had happened or was about to happen?
NEMCOVA: Well, there were not really signs before. It was just very sudden. There was just bit of seconds where I heard some screams and I was packing. We were about to leave the place. And, I look up and I saw people screaming and running and jumping into the pool and I just thought that is an earthquake.
And then the wave came and it was just really literally seconds before we were swept away from the bungalow, everything collapsing and other events where I was in a place where wood was crushing my pelvis and I thought that I was going to die a couple of times, but I'm still here so I guess there's maybe a reason to it. But, I think, yes, it was hard, definitely hard but I'm very thankful that I'm still here.
VAN SUSTEREN: How far off from the shoreline was where you were staying?
NEMCOVA: We were at a bungalow just literally on a beach, so when the water came -- it was such a huge wave. It came so quickly and just took over the whole bungalow where it collapsed.
VAN SUSTEREN: So, what did you do? The water comes in and sweeps you away just kind of. What happened?
NEMCOVA: Yes, it swept me away and also Simon and when it swept us away from the bungalow that was the last time when I saw Simon. And then I got stuck in a place where I touched the roof and I thought that's going to be a place where I'm going to be able to hold onto and kind of save myself.
But actually it turned out that it was maybe not the best idea because pieces of wood and trash started to crush my pelvis and it was really, really horrible pain and I thought I was going to be squashed into nothing.
VAN SUSTEREN: How far away was Simon from you when the wave hit? Is it just sort of almost like luck you survived that he didn't? I mean how far apart were you two?
NEMCOVA: We were really close by and it was just a thing. I mean he was much better swimmer than I was and stronger and, you know, of course as a man. So, I didn't think that he would be gone. I had for many, many weeks I thought that he was just somewhere, maybe injured or in a coma and I didn't think that he would not survive at all.
VAN SUSTEREN: Any idea how many days you were in the hospital before someone found you? Was it a family member or a friend?
NEMCOVA: The first friend I saw it was the day after. It was, sorry, it was two days after. I'm not sure if it was the day after that night I got transferred from a small hospital in Khao Lak to a bigger hospital and my friend, one of my best friends, Roman, he came there and they showed me his passport and do you know this person?
I'm like, "Yes, I do!" And, which is of course we were both crying like kids and he stayed with me for about until almost until I left from Thailand and then my sister arrived and my agent, Lee, and they were with me and sleeping on hard benches with having towels instead of blankets over them and just sleeping there just being with me and trying to help me out. It was just, yes, it was wonderful. I was very happy to have them there.
VAN SUSTEREN: We're going to have much more with Petra in just a moment.
VAN SUSTEREN: Nearly one year after a catastrophic tsunami killed her boyfriend and left her fighting for her life, supermodel Petra Nemcova is getting back to work.
VAN SUSTEREN: Let me talk about your career. You're back at work.
NEMCOVA: Yes, back at work.
VAN SUSTEREN: Modeling, you love it?
NEMCOVA: You know it was hard I must say the first job. It was definitely. I mean I love modeling and I was so passionate about it before tsunami and I still love it very much but it's a little bit different now than before. I would say that I devote probably 30 percent of my time to it and then the 70 would be the charity work. I say modeling is my second job now.
VAN SUSTEREN: In terms of was the highlight or how do you describe being on the cover of Sports Illustrated, I mean the swimsuit, I mean that's the plum isn't it? I mean that's what everyone wants?
NEMCOVA: Definitely that's right on top of it, on top of the scale and I mean there are different ways, you know. It can either the cover of Sports Illustrated or for more editorial goals it's let's say a cover on Vogue magazine. But for me it was an incredible experience. I never expected it and I was very thankful for it.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is there any downside to being beautiful?
NEMCOVA: Everything has its plusses and minuses.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, no, but what is, I mean, you know, that's what everyone wonders is there any downside?
NEMCOVA: Well, I try to always focus on the positive side.
VAN SUSTEREN: I know you're very positive. I mean you've obviously focused on, you know, I mean a very tragic experience.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is there any downside?
NEMCOVA: Well, I guess the downside sometimes is you don't get much time for yourself because it's always kind of, you know, people want to talk to you and all these things and I love that and I always -- because I want to reach out and I want to spread love. I forget myself. So, that's kind of, I don't know if it's a...
VAN SUSTEREN: But do you like battle like weight or I mean do you pay attention to what you eat?
NEMCOVA: Oh, yes, weight. Definitely, I have to and I'm not one of the lucky girls which they can eat anything so I do have to watch what I eat. So, rather than being beautiful, I guess, being a model you have to watch your weight and you have to do all these things to stay in shape and thin to fit the clothes.
But, yes, there are definitely downsides and sometimes, you know, you get people following you. Or, my sister got somebody following her, so it's because of me and that's the downside of it that sometimes you get people just, you know, doing these kind of things.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, well you're also very charming, very positive. You've written a good book and you're certainly doing a great cause. Congratulations on the book.
NEMCOVA: Oh, thank you.
VAN SUSTEREN: And, good luck and thank you.
NEMCOVA: Oh, thank you very much for having me and for spreading the love and, yes, thank you very much.
VAN SUSTEREN: We're going to have much more of our interview with Petra Nemcova later this week.
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