written by Ryan Kazmirzack of The Garden Island Newspaper
Six years ago Kauai author Heidi Siefkas’ world came crashing down. The morning after she found out that her husband was having an affair, a 1,000-pound tree limb fell on her when she was taking out the trash, breaking her neck. Siefkas survived, but during the lengthy recovery process she was forced to resign from her travel industry marketing job. In a short span of time she lost her health, her independence, her career, her marriage. She lost everything.
Today, the Lihue resident is preparing to officially release her second book “With New Eyes” in September. “With New Eyes” is a sequel to her very personal, emotionally raw memoir “When All Balls Drop — the Upside of Losing Everything.” Together, the two books tell the story of her devastating loss and her journey to move forward. She is working on a third book, and already has a deal to turn the first two books into movies.
Siefkas, who now makes adventure a central part of her life, celebrated completing the second book in June by hiking the full length of the Kalalau Trail so she could go camping in the valley for the first time.
The author and adventurer sat down with The Garden Island to talk story about the accident and becoming a successful self-published author.
Press rewind six years to fall of 2009. I had everything. Happily married to a Brazilian executive chef, homeowner in Broward County, Florida, keeping up with the Joneses. We had been together about 10 years, so long enough to have the training wheels off and get married and then I had this travel industry job that took me all over the world. Then on one of these travels I ended up in the Hudson River Valley, New York, I took out the trash and I went blank.
I don’t remember feeling a thing, hearing a thing, or seeing a thing, and the next thing I remember is five days later and my mother, who doesn’t live in the Hudson River Valley, is next to the bed as well as my husband, and I had no idea why I was there, what had happened, and they put the pieces of the puzzle together for me, which was a 1,000-pound tree limb from a healthy tree on a normal fall day, no rain, no wind, clobbered me out of the blue.
Read the full Talk Story interview.