edge

​Your Blood May Not Take Her but…

Picture courtesy Mark Lyndersay

Picture courtesy Mark LyndersayMy name is Donna Williams and, every time I tell people I am a phlebotomist [pronounced flea-bottom-ist], they raise their eyebrows.


A phlebotomist draws blood from patients. And makes sure everything is correct before the blood goes to the lab.

I lost my job during the current health crisis. It's hard. I never thought I would have been let go in a time like this. I will have to wait until after the lockdown is over to start job hunting. I have to start all over again.

I come from Point Fortin but moved to Port of Spain when I was around 19. I live in Sangre Grande now.

I grew up with my grandmother. My mom and dad had a rift and my mother, Sharon Stevens, went to live in America when I was five. It was a difficult time. I didn’t really knew my mom that well. At one point, I hated her. But we reconnected later in life and resolved those issues. She is my best friend at this moment.

My husband, Adrian Williams, and I have three kids: Marianne Williams, aged ten, born on Independence Day; Daniel Williams, who was seven on Valentine’s Day; and King David Williams, seven months. King David is not named after David Rudder. I love his music but I’m not his fan.

I had two good calypsoes in my head this year: Kill Dem Gary — a funny commentary — and Close Down Everything! — like how those government ministers close down everything. I just see myself performing on the stage. But how does anybody get to sing a calypso song, if they don’t know anybody? I’ve never written songs or poetry before. Nothing of the sort.


I went to Fanny Village Government School and then passed for the junior sec, the one they recently closed down; I can’t remember the name. But I got transferred to Aranguez Junior Secondary. When I sat the common entrance [exam, replaced by the Secondary Entrance Assessment], I went to live with my dad. That reconnection did not take. He is not my best friend today. I’m okay about it.

I’m okay with everything that happens in my life. Going back to calypso, there’s this song, Somebody’s Suffering More than You, by Lord Pretender, he rerecorded [a rapso version of] it with Brother Resistance. That has always been my motto in life. When I go through stuff, I know there is always someone going through a worst time than me. So I always try to overcome and look towards a better day. It’s more of a philosophical thing than a church thing.

I believe in God but I don’t believe in religion. As a child, I always had more questions than religion had answers. I grew up in the Spiritual Baptist faith and had to go to church every Sunday. You’re living in their house so you have to follow their rules. After I left home, I decided I could stay home and praise God. I could be travelling to work and praising God. I don’t have to go to a church or follow a set of rules. I respect everyone’s religion, though, so I don’t get into any conflict with anybody.

I’m not sure there’s an afterlife. Because nobody ever came back and said, “Hey! There’s an afterlife!”

I didn’t do well but I liked to go to school. But I never let that deter me from seeking something else. When I left school, I did patient care at YTEPP and the GAPP [Geriatric Adolescent Partnership Programme of the Ministry of Social Development]. I always did well in all the medical courses I took.

My children won’t have the pressure of me feeling they have to go to this or that school. The SEA is not going to determine what you’re going to be in life. I encourage my children to learn to use their hands! If you have a trade, you will ALWAYS get your bread-and-butter.
I became a phlebotomist because I realised I was good at sticking people [with needles, to draw blood at a clinic]. They would come back to tell me I did it very well. I was shocked. I saw an ad to do the six-month phlebotomist course on Saturdays in San Fernando. I was working as a geriatric nurse, getting paid weekly, and I was on a payment plan to pay off for the phlebotomist course. Every week I would make payments, make payments, make payments.

My husband, Adrian, is an electrician, and he gave up his work on Saturdays to take care of the children. He has not gone the way of my father. He is one of my biggest supporter. My best relaxation is not going to movies or the beach or the mall. It is home-time with the kids and my husband.

I always try to input a little something in my children’s lives every day. Find out how they dealt with certain situation at school. Try to guide them how they should deal with certain situation, if it arise. So they wouldn’t be trouble for the teachers to deal with.

Before I lost my job, I worked with three doctors, from 8am-4pm. Travelling to work took about an hour-and-a-half, both ways, Grande to Port of Spain. I didn’t get drained, though, because, once I got a straight maxi, I normally slept! I don’t get quiet maxis, I just sleep through the music.

If a patient is nervous, I talk to them, let them know I know that they’re nervous, try to get them calm. Tell them to try not to pull [your arm away because] if you pull, we have to do it again. A nervous patient never likes to be stuck twice! They normally stay calm and get through it very, very easily. The majority of times, I get my stick on the first go but sometimes I have to stick twice. I’ve never had to stick three times.Picture courtesy Mark Lyndersay

The best part of the job is meeting people. The bad part is the distance from home.

I don’t like the way Trinidad is going. You hear stories about people getting killed for no reason! Coming into Port of Spain really scares me. I feel worried and afraid. We have to change the course before it goes completely out of control.

Long-time, the parenting was much better. I am a fan of corporal punishment. Some children really need it and they took it out of the school. That is why there’s so much bullying in schools: “I could do you this and you can’t do anything to me!” The schools aren’t allowed to do anything about it and the parents aren’t doing anything to stop it.


A Trini is a person who makes the best out of the little that is given.

To me, Trinidad & Tobago is a place full of opportunities. Every day, you wake up to a new one.

​Your Blood May Not Take Her but…

Picture courtesy Mark Lyndersay

Picture courtesy Mark LyndersayMy name is Donna Williams and, every time I tell people I am a phlebotomist [pronounced flea-bottom-ist], they raise their eyebrows.


A phlebotomist draws blood from patients. And makes sure everything is correct before the blood goes to the lab.

I lost my job during the current health crisis. It's hard. I never thought I would have been let go in a time like this. I will have to wait until after the lockdown is over to start job hunting. I have to start all over again.

I come from Point Fortin but moved to Port of Spain when I was around 19. I live in Sangre Grande now.

I grew up with my grandmother. My mom and dad had a rift and my mother, Sharon Stevens, went to live in America when I was five. It was a difficult time. I didn’t really knew my mom that well. At one point, I hated her. But we reconnected later in life and resolved those issues. She is my best friend at this moment.

My husband, Adrian Williams, and I have three kids: Marianne Williams, aged ten, born on Independence Day; Daniel Williams, who was seven on Valentine’s Day; and King David Williams, seven months. King David is not named after David Rudder. I love his music but I’m not his fan.

I had two good calypsoes in my head this year: Kill Dem Gary — a funny commentary — and Close Down Everything! — like how those government ministers close down everything. I just see myself performing on the stage. But how does anybody get to sing a calypso song, if they don’t know anybody? I’ve never written songs or poetry before. Nothing of the sort.


I went to Fanny Village Government School and then passed for the junior sec, the one they recently closed down; I can’t remember the name. But I got transferred to Aranguez Junior Secondary. When I sat the common entrance [exam, replaced by the Secondary Entrance Assessment], I went to live with my dad. That reconnection did not take. He is not my best friend today. I’m okay about it.

I’m okay with everything that happens in my life. Going back to calypso, there’s this song, Somebody’s Suffering More than You, by Lord Pretender, he rerecorded [a rapso version of] it with Brother Resistance. That has always been my motto in life. When I go through stuff, I know there is always someone going through a worst time than me. So I always try to overcome and look towards a better day. It’s more of a philosophical thing than a church thing.

I believe in God but I don’t believe in religion. As a child, I always had more questions than religion had answers. I grew up in the Spiritual Baptist faith and had to go to church every Sunday. You’re living in their house so you have to follow their rules. After I left home, I decided I could stay home and praise God. I could be travelling to work and praising God. I don’t have to go to a church or follow a set of rules. I respect everyone’s religion, though, so I don’t get into any conflict with anybody.

I’m not sure there’s an afterlife. Because nobody ever came back and said, “Hey! There’s an afterlife!”

I didn’t do well but I liked to go to school. But I never let that deter me from seeking something else. When I left school, I did patient care at YTEPP and the GAPP [Geriatric Adolescent Partnership Programme of the Ministry of Social Development]. I always did well in all the medical courses I took.

My children won’t have the pressure of me feeling they have to go to this or that school. The SEA is not going to determine what you’re going to be in life. I encourage my children to learn to use their hands! If you have a trade, you will ALWAYS get your bread-and-butter.
I became a phlebotomist because I realised I was good at sticking people [with needles, to draw blood at a clinic]. They would come back to tell me I did it very well. I was shocked. I saw an ad to do the six-month phlebotomist course on Saturdays in San Fernando. I was working as a geriatric nurse, getting paid weekly, and I was on a payment plan to pay off for the phlebotomist course. Every week I would make payments, make payments, make payments.

My husband, Adrian, is an electrician, and he gave up his work on Saturdays to take care of the children. He has not gone the way of my father. He is one of my biggest supporter. My best relaxation is not going to movies or the beach or the mall. It is home-time with the kids and my husband.

I always try to input a little something in my children’s lives every day. Find out how they dealt with certain situation at school. Try to guide them how they should deal with certain situation, if it arise. So they wouldn’t be trouble for the teachers to deal with.

Before I lost my job, I worked with three doctors, from 8am-4pm. Travelling to work took about an hour-and-a-half, both ways, Grande to Port of Spain. I didn’t get drained, though, because, once I got a straight maxi, I normally slept! I don’t get quiet maxis, I just sleep through the music.

If a patient is nervous, I talk to them, let them know I know that they’re nervous, try to get them calm. Tell them to try not to pull [your arm away because] if you pull, we have to do it again. A nervous patient never likes to be stuck twice! They normally stay calm and get through it very, very easily. The majority of times, I get my stick on the first go but sometimes I have to stick twice. I’ve never had to stick three times.Picture courtesy Mark Lyndersay

The best part of the job is meeting people. The bad part is the distance from home.

I don’t like the way Trinidad is going. You hear stories about people getting killed for no reason! Coming into Port of Spain really scares me. I feel worried and afraid. We have to change the course before it goes completely out of control.

Long-time, the parenting was much better. I am a fan of corporal punishment. Some children really need it and they took it out of the school. That is why there’s so much bullying in schools: “I could do you this and you can’t do anything to me!” The schools aren’t allowed to do anything about it and the parents aren’t doing anything to stop it.


A Trini is a person who makes the best out of the little that is given.

To me, Trinidad & Tobago is a place full of opportunities. Every day, you wake up to a new one.