Brryan Jackson, a St. Louis native, did not have an easy upbringing.
At only 10 months old, his father, who was a technician at St. Louis hospital, injected him with HIV-tainted blood.
At the age of five, Jackson was diagnosed with AIDS.
According to court documents obtained by Fox5, Jackson’s father, Brian Stewart, didn’t want to pay child support after he and his son’s mother parted ways.
“You won’t need to look me up for child support … because your son is not going to live that long,” he told her, according to court documents.
In 1998, Stewart was sentenced to life in prison for the malevolent act.
The judge was incredibly upset with Stewart. He said:
“I believe that when God finally calls you, you are going to burn in hell from here to eternity, and maybe that’s the only justice that will come of this when you are finally gone. My thought is that injecting a 10-month-old child with the AIDS virus really puts you in the same category as a war criminal, as the worst war criminal. The maximum I can do with you is life in prison. I don’t really think that is a very fair sentence, not with what your son is going to have to go through. He is going to die. We all know that.”
At 7 years old, Jackson had fevers, a swollen liver, chronic ear infections and fungus growing under his fingernails; The disease destroyed his immune system, thus forcing him onto 23 oral medications, according to GQ.
ABC13 reported Jackson suffered 80% hearing loss, and still takes a daily pill.
However, just like the judge who sentenced Jackson’s father 18 years ago, physicians also did not expect him to survive.
But he did.
Jackson, now 25, is a motivational speaker and AIDS activist.
He also runs a nonprofit organization called “Hope is Vital,” with a mission is to inspire others to “overcome adversity and become empowered to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of others.”
Jackson said he has not reached out to his father in jail. In fact, at the age of eight, Jackson changed his name from “Brian,” the name he shared with his dad, to “Brryan.”
“I don’t really feel anything about him,” Jackson said. “I don’t know what he thinks of what he does, but since I’ve forgiven him, that’s all I can do. Just live my life and show him what I’m made of.”