Czech Republic native Petra Nemcova was the 2003 cover girl for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. She has also modeled for Victoria’s Secret.
Nemcova was vacationing in Thailand when the 2004 tsunami hit. She suffered both a broken pelvis and serious internal injuries but managed to hold onto the top of a palm tree for reportedly eight hours.
Her boyfriend, fashion photographer Simon Atlee was found dead two months later.
Since then, Nemcova has been a model with a mission: She started the Happy Hearts Fund, a fund to help those affected by the 2004 Thailand tsunami.