Precious Malumfashi weighed just 1 pound, 4 ounces, when she was born 15 weeks early at the Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills Medical Center. One of the smallest babies born at the time, she spent three months in the neonatal intensive care unit, where she received multiple blood transfusions and required the assistance of a ventilator for every small breath.
Once she arrived home, however, her struggles weren’t over. While still an infant, doctors noticed that her muscles were very stiff. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, which affects body movement and posture. To improve her ability to walk, Precious underwent a series of surgeries, from ages 5 to 19, to lengthen the hamstrings and tendons in her legs and straighten her ankles.
Precious will be among the riders on “First Steps to Total Health,” Kaiser Permanente’s 2014 Rose Parade® float entry. Kaiser Permanente believes that babies who have a healthy first year will grow up to be healthy children, teens, adults and eventually become thriving seniors.
Now a healthy and thriving young woman, Precious is a student at California State University, Northridge, where she is pursuing a degree in communications. When the studying permits, Precious volunteers in the NICU where she was born 26 years ago.