|“||You were my best friend April. My favorite person.||”|
— Jackson Avery to April Kepner
Jackson Avery is the Head of Plastic Surgery and ENT at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital who was one of the staff members who joined from Mercy West Medical Center after the merger. He is also a member of the board and the de facto board chairman. Jackson was married to April Kepner with whom he has a daughter.
Jackson is the grandson of Dr. Harper Avery, one of the most famous surgeons in the country and the namesake of the prestigious Harper Avery Award. He grew up hearing about the nobility of being a surgeon at his grandfather's dinner table, which inspired him to become a surgeon. His family never pushed him academically, so he pushed himself; he didn't even tell his family that he had taken the MCAT until he aced it.
Not much is known about Jackson’s life before he became a surgeon, but it is known that although he looks up to his grandfather, he detests being compared to him. He also refuses to use his name in order to progress in his career. Jackson is no doubt a “mama’s boy” and is extremely protective of the people he cares about – specifically April Kepner, whom he claims is his only remaining friend in Seattle.
Shooting at the HospitalEdit
During the shooting at the hospital, Jackson and Cristina performed emergency surgery on Derek Shepherd, saving his life. At one point during the surgery, grieving widower, Gary Clark held them at gunpoint. Jackson saved everyone’s lives by making it seem as though Derek had flat lined. This pleased Gary Clark and he was then convinced to leave them in peace.
Before the shooting, Jackson was friends with fellow Mercy West resident, Charles Percy. Percy was killed during in the shooting and this greatly impacted Jackson. For months following the shooting, he had nightmares about the event. He and April Kepner also moved in to Meredith's house as both their friends had been killed and Meredith felt they needed support.
There was later a shooting at a local college and Jackson, alongside Drs. Altman and Yang, found out they were operating on the shooter. He refused to continue and walked out of the OR, likely a response to the Gary Clark shooting.
Interrupting April's WeddingEdit
On the day of April's wedding, Jackson runs into April at the hospital as she is looking for Meredith and Cristina and asks him if he is coming to her wedding. After realizing that she really wants him there, Jackson decides to go. When Jackson and Stephanie arrive at April's wedding, Jackson picks up a box that contains a butterfly and as it flies into the air, Jackson remembers what April told him about wanting butterflies at her wedding, but brushes it off. As April is walking down the aisle, Jackson smiles at the beautiful bride. When the priest asks everyone if they agree to support Matthew and April's marriage, April locks eyes with Jackson as he begins to realize what is really happening. Everyone says yes except Jackson. He then turns to Stephanie and says "I'm sorry" then stands up then sits back down. Finally Jackson takes a deep breath and stands up again and says, "I love you. I always have. I love everything about you - even the things that I don't like, I love. And I want you with me. I love you and I think that you love me, too. Do you?" Matthew is visibly upset, Jackson looks scared and vulnerable, and April looks like she is in shock and takes a deep breath.
As a child, Jackson often listened to stories about his grandfather, Harper Avery, and ever since then, he has always wanted to be a surgeon. Jackson is very forward, often saying what's on his mind even if it hurts someone's feelings. He is also intelligent, kind and very protective of the people he cares about like his mother, Catherine Avery, and his best friend and later wife, April Kepner.
When Jackson first arrived at Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital, he developed a small crush on Cristina Yang and kissed her while inebriated at a party. However, Cristina did not return any intimate feelings towards him. Instead, she broke the kiss immediately and told him that it never happened.
Jackson and Lexie Grey develop a relationship after Mark Sloan bribes Jackson with surgery in exchange for information on how Lexie is doing. Jackson does get the information he needs, but doesn’t tell Mark about it because he’s developed feelings for Lexie and wants to respect her privacy. Mark does, however, still allow Jackson to perform the surgery he was promised. Lexie and Jackson do become a couple, but Jackson later breaks it off when he realizes Lexie is still in love with Mark.
When Catherine Avery came to SGMW for a bladder transplant, she brought along Mara Keaton, a Urology fellow at Mass Gen. Catherine asked Jackson to tour Mara around the hospital, which made him suspect that his mother was pushing him into a relationship with her. Mara felt that Catherine could be really annoying also. He encouraged Mara to stand up to his mother. Mara did stand up to her, but Catherine was not mad at Mara. Jackson was pleased with what Mara had done and after that, he slept with her in the on-call room.
On the night before his medical board exams, Jackson and April Kepner engage in a bar fight and later have sex. Jackson was leery at first, due to the fact that April was a virgin, but she promised him it was okay and she wanted to do it. Later, however, April told Jackson that the reason she had been a virgin so long is because she was celibate. She was completely heart broken and distraught at what happened between them, which caused Jackson to feel extremely guilty. They had another sexual encounter in the men’s room during a break from their medical board exams, which helped both Jackson and April calm down. However, it was too late for April and she failed. When she was let go from the hospital, Jackson comforted her, but April perceived it as him pitying her and told him to leave her alone.
When Jackson accepted the job at Tulane, he told April he felt sick at the thought of leaving her behind. He postponed his move, however, when he heard about the plane crash. When Mark Sloan showed signs of recovery, April told Jackson the only reason she stayed was to make sure Mark was okay, and now that he was, she would be leaving for home.
When April was rehired by Owen Hunt, she told Jackson she was in the process of revirginizing. Although Jackson didn't approve because he felt she was trying to pretend they never happened, he promised to help in any way that he could. However, they couldn't resist each other and continued their relationship until finally breaking it off. The two went their separate ways, which culminated in them seeing other people.During a massive storm near the hospital, a bus flipped and the doctors had to rush in and evacuate as many people as possible. The doctors believed they got to everyone, but Jackson stayed behind because he noticed a small pink shoe. When April noticed Jackson wasn't with them, she began to panic and rushed back towards the bus as it lay there ablaze. Suddenly, the bus exploded. Thinking Jackson was in the explosion, April became hysterical. When he emerged from the fire with a small child, she ran to hug him, but was stopped by Matthew.
When Jackson was being treated by Callie for his injuries, April walked in furious, screaming at him for almost dying, but was quickly removed. Thinking she had lost Jackson made her realize her true feelings for him. When everyone calmed down, she went back in to see him. She told him that she wanted him, which Jackson quickly rebuffed by telling her she was marrying Matthew soon. April then told Jackson to give her a reason not to.
Although Jackson may have still had feelings for April, he did not give her a reason to leave Matthew. Instead, he exploded at April, telling her the only reason she wanted him was because he had moved on. This put a small strain on their friendship, but they still spoke occasionally. April even admitted that Jackson set her straight and she was happy to be getting married to Matthew.
When the time came for April to send out wedding invitations, she purposely left out Jackson's name. She said she did this because she feared it would upset Matthew. Instead, she invited Stephanie, hoping she would bring Jackson as her guest. After speaking with Matthew and April, Jackson realizes that April truly wants him to be at her wedding so he decides to go and they share a brief hug, re-establishing their friendship.
During the ceremony, however, Jackson apologized to Stephanie before telling April that he loves her and that he always has loved her in front of the entire crowd. It is later revealed that April chose Jackson and decided to marry him.
After working on Jill Kasliner, Jackson and April fought about how they would raise their children. April walked out and ended up staying with Arizona and Callie for a few days. She came back to retrieve her iPod and told Jackson that they couldn't table the discussion about how they'll raise their children any longer because she's pregnant. They later discover that their unborn son has Osteogenesis Imperfecta type 2 and decide to induce labor at 24 weeks. Shortly after giving birth and holding their son, Samuel Norbert, died in their arms.
After the death of Samuel, April left Jackson to go overseas with Owen to join the Army as a trauma surgeon. She was originally supposed to be gone for only three months, but ended up saying away for a whole year.
April came back and things between them were rocky because Jackson felt like he had been abandoned by April during the time he needed her most. When April decided to take another tour, Jackson said that if she did, he wouldn't wait for her, although he said he loves her.
April came back from her second tour and Jackson told her to move out of their apartment. She refused because they were married and she didn't want to give that up. He eventually left and stayed with Bailey and Ben for a while. He told April he wanted a divorce and after some sexual encounters and four weeks of marriage counseling, April was served with divorce papers in the middle of the emergency room.
Jackson started a relationship with the new intern, Stephanie, after hooking up in a car during Bailey's wedding, but he claimed it was purely sexual and only for fun. However, Stephanie seemed to think their relationship was more serious than that, stating that she would follow him if he were to find a job at a different hospital.
Jackson introduced Stephanie to his mother and the couple became more serious than they were.
Stephanie confronted Jackson about any residual feelings between him and April, which he denied.
Jackson indirectly broke up with Stephanie at April's wedding, telling her, "I'm sorry," before standing up, interrupting April's wedding, and professing his love for her.
During Jackson's relationship with Lexie, he and Mark Sloan developed a mentor/student relationship, which continues to grow even after Lexie and Jackson split. Mark often referred to them as the "Plastics Posse" - much to Jackson's embarrassment. They later became inseparable and were often teased about their bromance by the other doctors. After Mark's tragic death, Jackson promised him that the "Plastics Posse" would live on.
Jackson was initially a surgical resident at Mercy West Medical Center, until the merger with Seattle Grace. Upon his transfer to Seattle Grace, Jackson has rotated over the services of several surgical departments, such as neuro, cardiothoracics, and plastics. Jackson took a shine to Plastics and that is now his specialty.
Jackson is one of four doctors to pass their medical board exams, and he is currently employed at Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital following the death of Mark Sloan. When the hospital was reorganized as Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital and instituted a new board, Jackson became the de facto board chairman as he is the board representative for the Harper Avery Foundation, the majority shareholder of the hospital.
Sometime in Jackson's third-year as an attending, he was promoted to the department head of plastic surgery.
Notes and TriviaEdit
- Jackson loses his composure and gets nervous when on camera. A similar event happened during his high school graduation.
- He has nightmares, especially after the shooting at Seattle Grace.
- He had a lucky pencil before it was broken during his medical board exams.
- Jackson is board certified in general surgery.
- Jackson played football in high school.
- Jackson's father has never been mentioned by him, but he has been mentioned by his mother. He left them because he couldn't handle the pressure of being an Avery.
- Jackson is pro-choice.
- Jackson lost his virginity to Sarah Richardson and Penny Cairo at his junior prom at the same time.
- April named a pig after him.
- As Jackson had Mark Sloan as a mentor, skilled both in plastics and ENT, Jackson can perform ENT-procedures in additional to Jackson's plastics abilities. @GreysMedical twitter confirmed that Jackson is, like his mentor, double-board certified.
- Jackson was the Gunther.
- Jackson is an atheist.
- Stephanie tells him that he has "angry face" when he's thinking.
- Jackson believes that April Kepner is the one.
- He suggested the hospital should be renamed to Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital in memory of Lexie Grey and Mark Sloan.
- He likes waffles.
- He doesn't eat leftovers because he thinks it's depressing to eat food out of tupperware containers.
- He hates gambling.
- He hates throw pillows.
- He's a slow reader.
- His favorite uncle is named Norbert.
- He started calling Dr. Warren and himself the "Plastics Posse" in honor of Mark Sloan.
- Jackson has one of the American Express Black Cards as he offered it as a form of payment to procure a private jet to transport a device for Lincoln McNeil.
- In an alternate universe, Jackson severely injured his hand which prevented him to practice surgery for at least two years.
- As of Season 12, Jackson's badge has been updated so that the department line shows "Reconstructive Surgery" as opposed to "Plastic Surgery" in season 9 through 11.
- He ordered takeout every single night April was in Jordan.
- Jackson was promoted off-screen to the head of plastic surgery sometime after Walking Tall as he does not mention himself as a department head when Amelia, Maggie, Callie, Arizona, and Owen were pointed out as heads of their respective departments.
A more complete gallery with pictures of Jackson Avery can be found here.
- Jackson (to April) I love you, April. I always have. 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 that you love me too. Do you?
- Jackson: In my family, I'm the pretty one. My eyes and my smile, my body. I mean, you should see me without a shirt on. It's kinda ridiculous. But my family is smart, driven, and crazy over-achievers. And they look like they're smart. They don't look like me, which has its perks. Except that my family treated me like I was pretty. They expected nothing from me, ever. Never pushed me, never thought to. So I had to push myself. Hard.
- Jackson (to April) You wait and let him get to know you. Then he's gonna wanna follow you anywhere. Trust me.
- Catherine: Nepotism is for the weak.
- Jackson: That's what my birthday cards always said.