Here Aug. 12 Cole Goodwin, 2002 graduate of Ava High School, has suffered from a medical condition of the past three to four years that recently resulted in the amputation of part of his right leg. Realizing the physical and mental anguish he is going through at this time, friends of Cole will host a meet-and-greet time in Ava on Saturday afternoon, Aug. 12. Friends are invited to drop by Autumn’s Cafe on Springfield Road (Highway 14 and Bus. Rte. 5) at 3 p.m. to visit with Cole and offer a word of encouragement. A dunking booth will be set up outside the restaurant and other fundraising opportunities, including face painting and Lips and Sips, will be offered for those wishing to participate. Cole and his wife, Amy, have two small children. Here is his story: In 2013 Cole was diagnosed with two herniated discs that pinched the right sciatic nerve, causing numbness and severe drop foot in his right leg and foot. He was given a brace to wear but it did not help his symptoms. Being optimistic his doctor decided to try and repair the herniated discs by sending him to an orthopedic surgeon in Columbia for an L5-S1 fusion of his spine. Cole had the surgery on July 6, 2016. Unfortunately, it did not relieve any of his symptoms. In October 2016 he developed a rare autoimmune disorder – pyoderma gangrenosum – that slowly began to eat his leg from the inside out. It slowly progressed until more and more of his leg was dying. After six surgeries to debride and clean the wounds, Cole and his infectious disease, orthopedic and wound specialist decided amputation was the only way he would find relief and stop the path of destruction in his leg. On June 6 he underwent a below-the-knee amputation. He was scheduled to be fitted for a prosthetic leg on Aug. 1. Cole Goodwin was a popular student at Ava High School participating in Drama Club and football. He was voted Prom King and Mr. AHS at Ava High School.