Picture sent in by Lorraine Stuttard.

For the month of February, IOL is inviting our readers to tell us who they love and why to stand a chance of winning amazing prizes in our #MyHeart competition.

Our next winner is Lorraine Stuttard, who submitted the following entry.

They always said I should write a book about the things I've seen in life, the things I have experienced and the rescues I've done.

My working career has spanned across working as a veterinary nurse in all the biggest welfares, an animal inspector, a human nursing sister working at Groote Schuur and private hospitals, a paramedic and studying palliative medicine. Working with death and dealing with dying people and creatures, i have seen it all.

I have seen pain, trauma, cruelty, loneliness, compassion, anger, regret etc etc, and every other emotion you could think of.

I believe in connecting to my patients, whether they are human or animal, and whether I am spending 5 mins with them, or walking the path till time of death with them.

Sometimes with people, it is difficult to make the connection or break through with that patient as they are suffering, terminal, in pain, lonely or bitter.

It has, however, never failed me to make a connection somehow through animals.

Sometimes I just have to say to a patient as I “prick” them to draw their blood... “So, do you have a dog or cat at home?”

That's it! That's all it takes. I literally feel the exhale and sigh and then they relax and talk. They tell me about their pets they miss at home, or once had. The old lonely lady, is a little sadder as she yearns for the cat she once had, and was forced to part with before going into the old age home.

The point i am trying to make, and I may not be the best author, is that animals make the difference in so many lives!

I have seen the loneliest little lady light up when I took my cats to visit the old people at my work.

I have seen a woman from a township fire carrying her puppy miles to a welfare with only the clothes on her back left. The tears running down her dark skin when she realised her pup would be OK and we would feed it.

I have seen the dying, bitter, cancer patient with nothing more to give, give one last smile while thinking of their dog.

I have seen the disabled child, unable to contain their laughter and joy at the thought of riding on a pony's back.

I have seen much...

When I go home, i go home to my amazing fur family of 17 cats, 4 dogs, a parrot and a “plod along horsie” that has had a issue or two!

I appreciate beyond works what they do for me. 

They heal me, love me and entertain me. They love unconditionally and ask for very little. They are all rescued and all have their stories.

I could never live my life without them.

How to enter:

Tell us who you love and why. The IOL team is passionate about news for the heart of South Africa and we want to hear about who holds your heart. Whether it's the love of your life, your BFF, your cat, your mom, your boss or your second-removed cousin on your grandmother's side, we want to know why you appreciate them so much.

If you are our pick for the best story of the day, you will win one of our amazing prizes and be entered into the grand prize draw.

So send an email to [email protected] telling us your #MyHeart story.

You can also DM us on Facebook or Twitter, or tag us on Instagram.

Or download our app on Android or IOS and use our MOJO feature to send us your entry.

TIP: The more words the better, and if you have pics and videos, you can send that too. 

The competition runs from February 1 to 28.

Winners will be notified by March 1.

Winners will be notified by email or phone, so please send us your contact details with your entry.

Competition Rules:

Selected story entries, pictures and videos will be published on iol.co.za and our social media pages. The winners' names will be published on our website and social media pages.

Your privacy is important to us. When you enter a competition with us, we ask for your name, email address and mobile number. We use email addresses to notify winners to let them know they have won a prize. We use the mobile numbers provided in order to contact the winner and for prize delivery.

The competition is only open to people residing in South Africa.

Employees of Independent Media, the sponsors & their agents, or any company associated with the competition & their immediate families are not eligible to enter. • Prizes are not redeemable for cash. •  The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. •  Receipt of entries will not be acknowledged. • The entrant accepts that entry to the competition does not constitute a contract or any form of legal commitment between the entrant and IOL.