Connell was born and raised in Massachusetts where she studied screenwriting and theatre arts at Salem State College. In 2001, she relocated to Los Angeles and founded Displaced Yankee Productions, an independent film company dedicated to using film as a platform for raising social awareness and activism through entertainment. After making two short films, Choosing Your Course (2002) and Black and White (2004), Heather produced and directed her first feature documentary, Small Voices: The Stories of Cambodia's Children. In Small Voices, the struggles of the street and garbage dump children of Cambodia are examined through the personal stories of five children and their journey toward education.
In 2009, during a trip to Cambodia, Heather became involved in the life of a 4 year old orphaned boy named Sum Namg who had cerebral palsy. With no way to bring him out of Cambodia, she unofficially adopted him and began to explore options for improving his care and quality of life. After discovering little help existed for children like Sum Namg, she founded the Safe Haven Medical Outreach program to provide health care, surgical intervention, rehabilitation, physical and speech therapy and nutritional, dental and health care for children with complex physical disabilities and medical issues. The program is dedicated to the memory of her beloved Sum Namg, who passed away from complications results from a grand mal seizure in 2011.
In 2002 during a visit to the Dachau concentration camp in Germany, Connell first became aware of the use of the classification chart. After seeing the various different symbols used to classify prisoners, she realized she had no idea who these other persecuted groups were or why they were targeted. Five million murdered. From a historical and educational perspective, she wanted to bring their voices to life before there were no longer any survivors left to share their stories. From this moment, the documentary Forget Us Not was born. Production on Forget Us not began in January of 2009 and is currently in post production we a expected release in the spring of 2013. It has been a powerful and humbling journey through the past and present. One deeply touched by the living survivors who have agreed to share their stories. May their voices never be forgotten.