Southsea podcast Southsea Folk Discovered is back on air after co-host's hellish Covid battle

A COMMUNITY podcast that promotes life in Southsea is back on the air again after one of its hosts was struck down with Covid.

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 11:00 am
Updated Thursday, 11th March 2021, 6:18 pm

John Sands and Louise O’Brien have been co-hosting a podcast called Southsea Folk Discovered since October 2019.

On November 9 John tested positive but two days later took a turn for the worse and was rushed into hospital.

He spent a month battling the virus, including a stay on ICU and a ventilator, before he could come home.

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Louise O'Brien and John Sands in Southsea

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Now, recovered, he has been speaking about his experiences on his podcast.

He said: ‘Things go really quickly, it's a rollercoaster. Covid is a sneaky little swine, it fools your brain that you are okay, when actually you are getting worse.’

The podcast, number 28, has attracted record numbers for the website and John is delighted to be back on air.

Louise O'Brien and John Sands in Southsea

John, who works at a software company, said: ‘It's been a journey, sometimes I feel like it didn’t happen. When I look back on that time it doesn’t feel like it was my going through that, but occasionally Covid comes back to remind you.

‘I do get tired now but I know I am luckier than some, I do remind myself of that.

‘It’s great to be back - and to give something back to Southsea.’

Louise, who runs cultural platform Southsea Folk, a cultural platform that promotes local artists, designers, creatives, and independent businesses, said that it was a difficult time when John was in hospital but that she wanted to share John’s story to offer hope to the community.

Louise O'Brien and John Sands in Southsea

Louise said: ‘In our podcast John talks about being unconscious but the only voice that gets through is his mum and it turns out the nurses were holding family voices and phone calls to John's ear to encourage his brain to respond.

‘The nurse that held the phone usually listens to the podcast on the bus on her way to work and got in touch as John's story went live to say she had held the phone and that it was so lovely to know John was okay.

‘She said that this story had really uplifted her as you can imagine working in an ICU unit at this time must be incredibly hard.

‘Not only did the nurse getting in touch with us lift our spirits and especially John who has had a huge recovery, but to think this uplifted the nurse and her colleagues is so heart-warming.

‘People are feeling full of despair at the moment so to offer some kind of hope to the community of Portsmouth is a wonderful thing to do.’

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