Suphal Samreth was born in Siem Reap, Cambodia on September 7, 1953. She grew up and became trained as a midwife before the reign of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. In 1980, she walked through the jungle and into Thailand where she spent 4 years in a refugee camp. Afterwards, she was moved to a refugee camp in the Philippines for 6 months, where she learned to speak English and found a sponsor with the YMCA. She moved to the United States knowing no one and moved directly to Houston, Texas. She worked as a maid at the Four Seasons Hotel for 4 years and raised 3 sons mostly as a single parent. She has resided in Houston since February of 1985.