WHEN Brryan Jackson was a baby, his father, a hospital technician, injected him with HIV-tainted blood to avoid paying child support to his ex-wife.
Doctors believed that Jackson would die in five months, but he’s still alive today at the age of 22. The St. Louis-area man this week said that he has forgiven his father for trying to kill him.
“I find myself praying for my father’s salvation,” said Jackson, who says he owes his positive attitude to his Christian beliefs.
The 1992 murder attempt made national headlines, and Jackson has used that attention to gain support for various nonprofit initiatives.
In 2009, Jackson founded Hope Is Vital, an organization that raises AIDS awareness and works to stop discrimination against people who are HIV-positive. He has also served as a speaker for Project Kindle, which provides summer camps and other recreational programs for children with serious illnesses.
His father, Brian Stewart, was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree assault in 1999. Though he is now eligible for parole, it has not yet been granted.
Jackson changed his first name from “Brian” to “Brryan” to separate himself from his father’s identity when he was growing up.