A Deeper Look into The Middleton Family

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holly and aaron middleton with their four children

“It was love at first sight.” Silly thing to say for most people. But for Holly and Aaron Middleton, it was the truth.

Six months after they met, they took a little trip to a little town called Las Vegas where the couple said “I do” and began their new life as the Middletons before Aaron would be deployed overseas.

As the couple’s family started to grow, Holly dedicated herself solely to being a military wife and a mother to their four children Trott, Scarlett, Magnolia, and Kelvin.

But over the past year, the Middleton family came to face unimaginable pain.

Just a small newborn, their son Kelvin, was diagnosed with holes in his lungs and had to undergo immediate surgery. While he survived the operations, problems began to arise when he became deathly ill with a serious infection. 

The Middletons were faced with every parent’s worst fears. But with their strength, their faith, and the love they held for each other as a family, they made it through and little Kelvin made a full recovery. Soon he’ll be celebrating his first birthday.

However, the Middleton’s had yet to experience their most unspeakable loss…

Their five-year-old daughter, Scarlett, died on July 12, 2018.  

What was unexpected and all in the span of 20+ hours, Holly and Aaron would learn that Scarlett had died from Sepsis, a blood infection that can damage the body’s organs.  

As a parent you expect to have sleepless nights, days or weeks of potty training, and you learn that a bandaid can fix almost any hurt. Parents live, learn, and adapt to those experiences. But how do you prepare for the death of a child?

Simply? You don’t.  

She was always my light. She was always the sweet one, the calm one, the one who wanted your love, the snuggles. She was always my sunshine” Holly states in the Tampa Bay Newspapers.

Holly called an ambulance the moment she realized things had truly gone wrong, riding along and standing by helplessly as the paramedics, doctors, and nurses all worked desperately to save her little girl. As Holly looked on, she quietly began to sing “You Are My Sunshine”.

Sadly, despite the best efforts of everyone involved, Holly’s little girl was gone.

While devastated, Holly and Aaron knew then that Scarlett’s light needed to continue to shine.

And thus “Scarlett’s Sunshine” began.

A charity in honor of their daughter, “Scarlett’s Sunshine”, works to spread random acts of kindness through flowers and smiles, two of her favorite things. Could be anything from handing out roses in nursing homes or to strangers in the street. The ultimate goal: to spread the joyful life of Scarlett wherever they went.

Though honoring her daughter, Holly continued to grieve the crippling loss.  

“After the trauma of watching my daughter die, I kept having visions of her death” Holly explains in the Tampa Bay Newspapers. Haunted by her death and the overwhelming emotions, Holly developed at dependence on alcohol. And for the first three months after she said goodbye to her sweet girl, she used alcohol to cope at night.

Now sober, Holly, as well as Aaron and their remaining children, continue to push through these tough times with the support of their community and through their charity.

But those aren’t the only things that help Holly and the Middleton family in their grief…

Her name is Cali.

holly middleton with emotional support dog Cali and CertaPet CLinical Manager Prairie Conlon

This special dog, or better known as an emotional support animal, has brought comfort and love during the hard times in the Middleton household.

Whenever Aaron would be away on Military duty, Holly would look to her kids and Cali for support. Always there to snuggle up to (most times) and always there for just a paw to hold, this little emotional support dog never left Holly’s side.

As a CertaPet client, Holly opened up about the struggles of military family life, her daughter’s death, and more, all with her ESA on her lap.

“Dogs provide a healthy distraction and focal point as they often demand attention through play and affection. This often creates enough of a distraction to redirect thoughts” CertaPet’s Clinical Manager, Prairie Conlon, states.

Emotional support animals come in all shapes and forms and for Holly, hers is a cute, little, white ball of joy.

“CertaPet was very easy to work with and the process was quick and streamlined. I’m so happy Cali is certified, she has been a crucial part of my healing process and I can’t thank Certapet enough for the care and expertise.”  

The Middletons had discovered what many ESA owners know: ESAs are more than just pets; they’re family.

With Cali and the kids in tow, Holly and Aaron embark their next adventure in their Florida home. 

And that’s where Military Makeover steps in…

The rest is yet to come for this strong, caring, deserving family: the Middleton’s.

Credit to the Tampa Bay NewsPapers and MilitaryMakeover.tv.

To watch their story go here.

flowers in box for holly middleton's charity scarlett's sunshine

“Scarlett’s Sunshine”

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  • Linda A Dodson says:

    I am blessed to know this wonderful family, the love and sunshine that they continue to give to other despite the loss this family has endured, there are just no words to express. ((HUGS))

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