Jasmine King grew up near the Missouri Botanical Gardens in downtown St. Louis, and her family's roots have always been intertwined in the neighborhood.
Her mother and four siblings lived comfortably together. And, her great grandmother lived upstairs in an apartment in the same building. Her grandfather lived just around the corner.
Even when Jasmine left childhood behind, she didn’t stray far from home. Her husband, Vernon, is her high school sweetheart and grew up in St. Louis as well.
Family was also where Jasmine drew her inspiration to become a caregiver. From an early age, she wanted to follow her sister and aunt in their careers as nursing assistants.
After high school, Jasmine spent a few years working on a degree in criminal justice, but her caregiver heart always seemed to pull her back. She finally gave into her feelings and obtained her CNA license.
Once certified as a CNA, Jasmine went to work. She worked long hours at several different places before finding the Visiting Nurse Association of Greater St. Louis.
In her interview, VNA’s Hospice Director, Carol Emmerich, told Jasmine she’d never seen a resume so extensive.
Jasmine was hired soon after.
Of course, caregiving days can be very hard, but the key, says Jasmine, is “personal investment.”
‘’I give my heart so they know I care. There are no walls.’’
That sacrifice comes at a price, but it’s one she’s willing to pay. Her passion drives her daily. It’s a passion that began when she cared for her great grandmother upstairs.
In fact, her great grandmother had cancer, but she didn’t want anyone to know.
‘’She would ask me to take her to the doctor, but I couldn’t go into the room. Then, one day, a nurse came to the house and Great Gramma told my mother to leave the room. While walking down the stairs, we heard the nurse ask, does your family know you’re in hospice? ’No, said my great grandmother, and I don’t want them to.’’
Jasmine took as many family shifts as she could to try and help her great grandmother make the journey through the end of her life on her own terms.
Now, Jasmine takes the wisdom gained by years of caring for those close to her and couples it with her professional training and education. Through these experiences, she can deliver exceptional care to each easy, moderate or difficult situation she faces.
Her exceptional care is her gift to others. She strives to help them feel like family.