NewsPinellas County


Parents hand out flowers to strangers in memory of daughter who died from sepsis

The couple hands out 250 roses each week
Posted at 10:33 PM, Sep 18, 2019

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Two Pinellas County parents are spreading "love and sunshine" by handing out flowers to random strangers.

Holly and Aaron Middleton give out 250 roses every week. A note on the flower said, "Spread Love and Sunshine. Yes, this flower is for you!"

This week, they left roses on cars in the parking lots of a local library and school.

"This is the greatest way I can share her memory," said Holly Middleton.

The family lost their 5-year-old daughter, Scarlett Elizabeth, in July 2018.

Scarlett had an upset stomach and fever.

Doctors believed she had a stomach bug. Their daughter died in an ambulance on the way to a hospital. She died from sepsis.

According to the Mayo Clinic, 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 is a potentially life-threatening condition caused by the body's response to an infection.

"I went to her bedside. As she laid there, I sang "You Are My Sunshine" to her which is a song I sang to her so many times. I called her my sunshine," said Holly Middleton, Scarlett's mother.

Scarlett's parents visit her grave a few times a week.

"I know the bones I created are still down there and you know even though her spirit is gone, her body is still there and this is the one place I can be with her," added Middleton.

"I never come here without crying, without first leaning on her grave, her tombstone just talking to her," said Scarlett's father, Aaron Middleton.

Her parents said they want to keep their daughter's joy alive by handing out flowers.

"It started out with me carrying around a bag of flowers. I would just put them on cars or hand them to people," said Holly.

The Bouqs Company donated a year's worth of flowers to the couple. The couple started a charity, Scarlett's Sunshine, to promote random acts of kindness.

"Scarlett was extremely beautiful and very sweet. She worked extremely hard at everything she accomplished. She was in physical therapy just for balance and coordination. She was also in speech therapy because she had a sweet stutter," said her mother.

"She was one of our greatest jewels. We thanked God for that," she added.

The community launched a GoFundMe page to help raise money for Scarlett's Sunshine.

To learn more about Scarlett and her family's mission visit: