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The team at Mattress Warehouse recently had the honor of participating in a special project. We partnered with Military Makeover with Montel, a special home improvement series that rebuilds the homes of military veterans as a small gesture of gratitude for the service and sacrifices they’ve made for us.
The focus of Season 17 is the Middleton family. Despite facing unimaginable hardship, Aaron and Holly Middleton choose to spread joy and kindness whenever and wherever possible. They were nominated for the home makeover by Holly’s mother and were shocked when they were selected.
Mattress Warehouse had the privilege of getting to know the Middleton family personally through the Military Makeover process. Our role was to help with the house construction and the new items placed inside it, but we couldn’t help becoming attached with the family that would make it a home.
We encourage you to meet the Middletons, learn more about their story and witness their tenacity firsthand. Watch Season 17 of Military Makeover airing on Lifetime TV starting on March 1 through May 2 on Fridays at 7:30 a.m. ET/PT.
The Middleton Family Story
Aaron Middleton is a husband, father, and U.S. Marine Corps Major and Senior Communications Officer. He met the love of his life, Holly, in Columbus, Ohio after they both graduated from Ohio State University. They moved to California and six months later they eloped before Aaron deployed overseas.
Over the past 12 years, Aaron’s service has taken him around the globe, but he always returned to Holly. The couple moved to Tampa, Florida and welcomed four beautiful children into the world: Trott, Scarlett, Magnolia, and Kelvin.
The birth of their fourth child marked the start of a year of overwhelming adversity. Doctors diagnosed newborn Kelvin with holes in his lungs. This condition required multiple, immediate surgeries.
Kelvin survived the operations but became terribly ill with a serious infection. The Middleton family rallied around their newest member and miraculously Kelvin became stronger. Despite numerous ups and downs, he is now healthily progressing and recently celebrated his first birthday.
In July of 2018, tragedy struck Aaron and Holly once more. Still reeling from the near death of their son, Aaron and Holly’s five-year-old daughter, Scarlett, died unexpectedly from sepsis.
The Middleton’s had just returned from celebrating Scarlett’s birthday in Orlando when Holly noticed Scarlett became ill.
Despite a visit to the doctor, Holly’s round-the-clock care, and finally, a rushed ambulance ride to the hospital, Scarlett succumbed to what doctors had misdiagnosed as a stomach virus.
“I remember the lead doctor telling me they tried everything they could, but they couldn’t restart her heart and I had to make the choice if they should continue or as they suggested, ‘let her go’. I said the hardest word I’ve ever had to say: ‘okay.’” - Holly Middleton, Scarlett’s Story
The Middletons created a charity in Scarlett’s honor — Scarlett’s Sunshine. The organization’s mission is to spread random acts of kindness to induce spontaneous smiles as Scarlett gave to strangers while on earth.
It started with the Middleton family handing out flowers in public places, hoping to bring some sunshine and light to a stranger’s day. It has grown to be much larger than they could’ve imagined. Hundreds of flowers are passed out to strangers everywhere — from grocery store parking lots to nursing homes and the Ronald McDonald House.
A GoFundMe page has allowed Scarlett’s Sunshine to sustain these random acts of kindness.
As Holly started passing out flowers, she began to receive daily messages and emails from people sharing how that simple flower made their day or that they needed that flower at that exact moment during a hard time. Every time someone feels even a bit of happiness from receiving a flower, Scarlett’s sunshine continues to live on.
In addition to random acts of kindness, the Middleton family spends countless hours educating others on the dangers of sepsis and the symptoms to look out for.
According to the Mayo Clinic, sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition caused by the body's response to an infection. The body normally releases chemicals into the bloodstream to fight an infection. Sepsis occurs when the body's response to these chemicals is out of balance, triggering changes that can damage multiple organ systems.
Sepsis symptoms include fever, difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, fast heart rate, and mental confusion. The Mayo Clinic advises if symptoms develop, seek medical attention immediately.
Military Makeover and Mattress Warehouse
Military Makeover could not have selected a more deserving family for this home renovation. The team at Mattress Warehouse was moved by Aaron and Holly Middleton’s story and encouraged by their unwavering positivity.
Sadly, Holly has experienced terrible pain and restless sleep since the passing of Scarlett. Although Aaron and Holly’s emotional pain can never be taken away, our team wanted to provide any physical pain-relief possible.
The couple was flown to our Pineville, North Carolina store where they were able to go through the bedMATCH process. Aaron and Holly completed the diagnostic test that identified the best mattresses suited for their unique body specifications and sleep preferences.
Holly tested each bed with renewed enthusiasm and her BEDGEAR pillow. The perfect beds were chosen for Holly and Aaron, as well as Trott, Magnolia, and Kelvin.
One Act of Kindness Makes a Difference
The Middletons continue to be intentional about random acts of kindness and they receive immense community support in return from friends and strangers alike.
Holly hopes Scarlett’s Sunshine becomes like the butterfly effect. You do one kind thing and you hope it gets passed on because you can never know how little actions affect a stranger.
Make sure to hear the Middleton’s entire story during Season 17 of Military Makeover airing on Lifetime TV. The first episode airs on Friday, March 1 at 7:30 a.m. ET/PT.To support Scarlett’s Sunshine, visit the website and their Facebook page.