Tsunami Survivor Petra May Quit Modeling
02/17/2005 AT 03:00 PM EST
"I'm different now, with a completely different view of the world," Nemcova, 25, tells a newspaper from her native Czech Republic, in her first interview since leaving the hospital last month.
"Believe me, it really isn't important," says Nemcova, a former Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. "There are so many important things in the world like health, love and peace in your soul."
The model, who survived the tsunami by clinging to a palm tree for eight hours, suffered a broken pelvis in the natural disaster that killed her boyfriend, photographer Simon Atlee and more than 150,000 others. After her injury, Nemcova was taken to Prague to recover. It took her until Jan. 15 to even sit up for the first time.
Nemcova's father tells New York's Daily News that his daughter will "part with modeling" as a career. "She will appear on catwalks in France, Britain or the U.S.A. for charity purposes only," said Oldrich Nemec, who is a bricklayer.
Nemec also says doctors have predicted his daughter will fully recover. He told PEOPLE last month that Nemcova usually accomplishes what she wants to do. "She has a strong will. She goes after what she sets her mind on."
Instead of posing in bikinis the model, who is now walking with crutches, says she wants to return to Asia when she's well enough to "help all the people by doing manual work."
"It is important for me to provide active help, to work with my hands. This will definitely give me the strength I need."