OXFORD, Miss. – University of Mississippi senior Carson Otter continues to recover from an incident in Austin, Texas, that left him with life-threatening injuries, and his family has experienced a huge outpouring of support from the Ole Miss community.
Otter , 21, of Bloomington, Ind., was in Austin last month for the Ole Miss-Texas football game when he was assaulted. The incident, which isn’t thought to be related to the game, remains under investigation. Otter’s head hit the pavement, which left him with a brain injury and a fractured skull. He underwent emergency surgery and spent time in intensive care. He is undergoing physical, occupational and speech therapies.
“He’s doing really well and passing everything with flying colors,” said his mother, Candy Otter.
Carson is getting his strength back and is physically doing well, his mother said. He’s undergoing cognitive therapy. His long-term memory is good, but he’s still working on improving his short-term memory. After weeks of rehab in Austin, Otter is back home in Indiana continuing his treatments and his mother says he is expected to make a full recovery, but just how long that might take is unclear.
His condition seems to be improving rapidly, though, and he’s motivated to get back to Ole Miss as soon as possible.
“He is far surpassing everybody’s expectations,” Candy Otter said. “I don’t think he understands the milestones he’s crossed or the ones he’s yet to get over. He thinks he’s fine. He misses his friends, he misses his job, he loves his dog and misses Oxford. All of those things are very motivating to him to work on the therapies here.”
The Carson Otter Charity Fund has been set up at Regions Bank. Deposits are accepted at any of the bank’s locations. There’s also a PayPal account online where donations can be made to the fund.
Carson has received a letter from head football coach Hugh Freeze and has heard from Chancellor Dan Jones and Dean of Students Sparky Reardon, among others.
The family was also helped greatly by the strong network of Ole Miss alumni in Austin. During the family’s stay there, Ole Miss supporters in Austin cooked meals for the family, drove them places they needed to go, washed the family’s clothes and also gave them places to stay. Some also walked with Carson to help him with his recovery.
“It’s been incredible,” his mother said. “It has helped take away a lot of the stress, a lot of the worry and uncertainty with family flying in and out of Austin. We didn’t know a soul here and we’re leaving with many friends. It’s been such a blessing.”
Carson Otter will continue his treatment in Indianapolis, which is about an hour’s drive from the Otters’ hometown.
“Ole Miss has been a big part of Carson’s recovery and will continue to be a big part of Carson’s life,” Candy Otter said. “I think he will one day raise a family in Oxford. He loves it so much. The Ole Miss people have been so good to us.”