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Company gives burned employee and toddler big bonus

By Emily Allen, Multimedia Journalist /Target 13 Investigator ,
Published On: Feb 15 2013 02:04:58 PM CST

A local Valvoline franchise gave its employee in need a big bonus on Friday when it offered to give all its proceeds from all jobs in the shop to him.


A local Valvoline franchise gave its employee in need a big bonus on Friday when it offered to give all its proceeds from all jobs in the shop to him.

The Valvoline at 7350 Rangewood Drive held a fundraiser and offered $15 off all oil changes in the shop to help bring in more customers. The morning was off to a busy start with people coming in for fix-ups -- and that made the shop's employees happy.

"I would want as much help as I could get, so we want to help him as much as we can too," said manager Chad Olsen.

Mike Olive and his 2-year-old son Trystin were badly burned in a fire on Dec. 9. Olive was fixing a car in his best friend's garage when gas split on the floor. Olive had turned off the heater in the garage but the lingering heat ignited the fumes. Trystin was also in the garage at the time.

"The gas was on the floor, the flames were on the floor and next thing you know it was just completely out of control," said Olive.

Burns from the fire left both dad and son in critical condition.

Olive spent almost a month in the hospital, two weeks of that time was spent in an induced coma. His son was in the hospital for three weeks. Trystin's face was so badly burned he had to get new skin grafs over his entire face. He was in an induced coma for three weeks.

"I don't know where my strength comes from at this point, I really don't, he's amazing. This kid is so tough," said Olive.

Olive's daughter drowned in a pool in 2004 and he describes the thought of almost loosing another child as unimaginable.  The accident on Dec. 9 haunts him.

"Every day, every day. Flashbacks and nightmares are horrendous, I mean no one wants to see their 2-year-old on fire, no one, no one wants to be on fire. It's horrible, it's horrible. But at this point, it is what it is," said Olive.

This week marks his third week back to work. He worked 10 hours a week for the first two weeks and this week, he'll work 25. He and his family lived paycheck to paycheck before the accident when he worked a full 40-hour work week.

He said it's been financially difficult on the family just keeping up with typical bills, now they have medical expenses to cover as well.

"This should get us caught up and get a little bit of money, and if we get his stuff taken care of, that's just one less expense we will have to worry about."

Above everything else, Trystin's recovery is his number one priority.

"I just want him to look normal, I don't want to deal with principals if kids have been picking on him because he's been burned," said Olive.  "I can't change it, all I can do is help him and help his scarring and his appearance for later in life. It's the best we can do."

Valvoline tripled its staff for the day. Olsen said it was hoping to service two or three times as many customers as a typical day. 

Olive said he and Trystin still have a long road to recovery. But he said, the future is promising.

"It's going to be a long process but by the time he gets to kindergarten, his classmates will barely be able to tell," said Olive.

Olive said scars don't grow, kids do.

There is also a donation site set-up to help Olive and Trystin as well. To donate, go to: