- "I love everything about you. Even the things I don't like, I love. And I want you with me. I love you and I think you love me too. Do you?""
- —Jackson Avery to April Kepner
Jackson was married to April Kepner until they divorced following the death of their child, Samuel Avery. They had another child, a daughter named Harriet Kepner Avery, after their divorce.
Early Life Edit
Jackson is the only child of Robert and Catherine Avery, and the grandson of Harper Avery. His grandfather is the namesake of the prestigious Harper Avery Award. Jackson grew up knowing of his family's legacy and the expectation that he would one day be expected to lead the Harper Avery Foundation.
He looked up to his grandfather and was inspired by him to become a doctor. When he was young, his parents divorced. Unknown to him for many years, his father tried to win custody of him, and failed. Robert then effectively abandoned the family, later blaming Catherine.
Jackson started his career at Mercy West Medical Center. He intended to become a cardiothoracic surgeon. He befriended Charles Percy and met April Kepner.
The Merger Edit
When he was in his third year of residency, Mercy West was closed and Jackson joined April, Charles and Reed Adamson in relocating to what was then known as Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital.
Jackson and the new residents clashed with the original residents at the hospital which came to a head when a patient died. He then worked together with his new colleagues from that point on, and got along with them.
Shooting at the Hospital Edit
When Gary Clark arrived at the hospital and started shooting people in revenge for the death of his wife, Jackson hid in the hospital. He lost two friends, Reed and Charles.
Jackson and Cristina Yang would later perform surgery on Derek Shepherd when he was shot by Gary. Gary found them in the operating room and threatened to kill them unless they stop operating on him. Jackson fooled Gary by removing a wire which made it look like Derek had flat-lined. Gary departed the room happy, and Jackson then reconnected him to the machine and continued the surgery which saved Derek's life.
Plastic Surgery Residency Edit
Jackson took liking to plastic surgery in which he had a natural talent. He struck up a friendship with Mark Sloan, the Head of Plastic Surgery, who agreed to tutor him. At the time, he was dating Lexie Grey, the ex-girlfriend of Mark.
In time, Mark accepted the relationship and let them be. His choice of residency disappointed Catherine, who thought plastic surgery was less of a big deal than the likes of cardiothoracic. Jackson continued with his residency, learning a great deal from Mark who dubbed them the "Plastic Posse". His relationship with Lexie eventually ended when he realised she was still in love with Mark.
Board Director Edit
When Mark was injured in the plane crash in Idaho, Jackson would visit him when he was in his coma and was delighted when Mark woke up. He was hopeful that Mark's waking would not be "the surge" and agreed to sneak Mark's daughter Sofia in to see him. He was upset when he arrived and found Mark declining and falling back into his coma, trying to shield Sofia from the scene. He was one of the doctors by his side as Mark passed away thirty days later.
In light of the plane crash that also took Lexie's life, the Harper Avery Foundation invested in purchasing the hospital, which became bankrupt because of a lawsuit filed. Catherine surprised him by making him Board Director. His colleagues were upset at first because he was technically their boss. They had ideas for how the hospital should be run, except he kept telling them that he needed to "look into it".
Following a stressful day, he realised their plans were right and threw out the old protocols. He then proposed they rename the hospital Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital in honour of the people they lost. He gained favour for doing that, and people were receptive to his leadership.
Relationship with April Edit
Jackson grew closer to April Kepner when they were at the hotel preparing for their broads. However, April wasn't seeking a relationship with him and refused to speak of their time in the hotel. In time, she realised she was in love with him, but by then he had started a relationship with Stephanie Edwards. She started a relationship with another guy, and he proposed to April.
April accepted, but then later told Jackson that she was in love with him and that she would break the engagement for him. However, he decided to give his relationship with Stephanie a chance. At April's wedding, Jackson knew that he had to say how he felt, and interrupted the wedding to tell her. April picked him, and they married later that day.
They were delighted when April revealed her pregnancy. However, he later overheard Stephanie confiding in Nicole Herman that she had noticed the baby hadn't developed properly. The baby had osteogenesis imperfecta, meaning his bones were breaking and he wouldn't survive long after birth. April and Jackson agreed to induce labour, and their child, Samuel Norbert Avery, passed away.
April was distraught and struggled to cope, while Jackson tried to keep it together for her and support her. He later revealed he felt lonely and that he couldn't express how he felt because he had no support. April later effectively abandoned him when she joined the army and left him on his own.
When April returned home, Jackson was angry with her for leaving and their marriage was very strained. They eventually broke up and filed for divorce. April and Jackson were constantly arguing, and the divorce went through. He was later very surprised when April revealed that she was pregnant with their second child.
Jackson had found out from a friend, and was angry that April kept her pregnancy secret for a few weeks and that she knew when they divorced. They started arguing again, and both were under the false impression that the other would keep their child from them and filed for custody. Eventually, they realised they had to do what was right by their child, and struck up a friendship by the time their daughter, Harriet Kepner Avery, was born.
Jackson started his residency at Mercy West Medical Center and completed the residency at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. He was talented at plastic surgery and he enjoyed the work. He was trained by Mark Sloan. He passed his medical board exams in general surgery, and was employed at the hospital as an attending plastic surgery.
It is unknown when and how, but Jackson later became an ENT attending. He was later promoted to Head of Plastic Surgery.
Jackson highly values family, and doing what is right. He is very protective of the people that he cares for, and despite reservations about certain things, he always comes through. His reluctance to participate in pressuring roles can be attributed to being shy and worried about his ability, and in time he has learnt to become assertive. He can have the tendency to speak his mind about certain things, but remains kind and respectful.