Londynn Moreland graduated wearing the dress she created. | Courtesy of Londynn Moreland

Growing up, Kern Valley High School student Londynn Moreland did not expect to live to see her high school graduation, yet she stood with her class, victorious over death, in her cap and gown, wearing the dress she crocheted.

She told the Kern Valley Sun how she succeeded, despite her health setbacks, and about her plans for the future.

"I went through high school in homeschooling,” she said.

Moreland has a disability called Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH). Born with a hole in her heart, Moreland underwent surgery to repair it when she was 5. At age 8, she was diagnosed with PAH, which was related to her previous heart issue.

PAH causes high blood pressure in Moreland’s lungs, causing her heart to enlarge and the blood pressure in her lungs to increase. This condition makes breathing difficult. When the pressure gets bad, it causes shunting, where the blood skips from one part of the heart to another without taking oxygen to the rest of her body as it should.

"I had passed out,” Moreland said. “I was in a wheelchair for my last (middle school) graduation. So I was so happy that I could be at this graduation and be able to walk and do even more than eighth grade graduation.”

She decided not to allow her condition to prevent her from working and enjoying activities in her everyday life.

Moreland’s history of crafting goes back to her childhood when she used to loom with her mother. Her father taught her to crochet basic stitches when she was 7, and she started up again at 13.

"I decided to start crocheting when I was in the hospital, back in 2019," she said. Moreland later decided to turn her crochet into a business because she could not work a job with much physical exertion.

"I started doing events and selling (my crochet) around the end of sophomore year," she said.

Her business, PAH Crafts (pronounced “paw” crafts), is named after her condition. Now, she holds booth events to promote her business through the Kern River Valley Art Association.

"I love doing events,” Moreland said. “They give me so much joy to see little kids have the things that I make and the spark in their faces when they see all the things that I make.”

Her family has kept her going by telling her to live her life, be proud of herself and not let things get her down.

"They’re honestly the reason that I keep going and the reason I do what I do to help myself want to be a part of everything and be happy,” she said.

Moreland plans to expand her business. Currently, most of her proceeds go back into her business and for the yarn to crochet, which is therapeutic and distracts her from her pain and helps with depression, anxiety and stress.

"I just feel like if I wasn't doing anything with my life and living it to the best of my ability, what's the point of even being here?” she said. “And God put me on this earth for a reason."

Moreland struggled to do more when she was younger and pushed herself to be physically active. Eventually, she realized she had to figure out something different.

"Crochet really helped bring me back to life,” she said. “It helped me see the brighter things – that life isn't always the way you want it to go, but it isn’t always going to be what you think it is."

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