Rasen boy to have his 'own' sweet

Tuesday 12noon A PROUD Market Rasen mum is to have her very own personal message to her little son immortalised in confectionary history with the creation of a unique Love Heart sweet.

To celebrate its 80th birthday, British confectionary company Swizzels Matlow invited the nation earlier this year to become part of Love Hearts' history, and Katrina Swan of Gordon Field was picked as one of the ten lucky winners to have their own name or message included on a Love Heart.

Katrina's message of 'Heart Baby' was chosen from thousands of entries which flooded in from across the country.

Mum to one-year-old Elijah, Katrina explained how she came to choose the message which is so close to her heart:

"Elijah is a heart baby and was born on Valentine's Day with transposition of the grand arteries, with a large hole, leaking valves and quickly went into heart failure.

"He underwent open heart surgery in March 2007 to save his life and still has to take medication and have check-ups every three months but he can run around like any toddler, although he does get tired quicker."

"I'm the proudest mother alive and I want the world to appreciate all the brave little heart babies in the world."

Katrina, who also has a four year old daughter Phoebe, explained that she found out about the competition after she went onto the company's website to try and order some Love Hearts with her motive on it for his 'heart' party and christening on the first anniversary of his operation.

The personalised Love Hearts will now go into production with the new sweets set to hit shop shelves by September 2008.

Since its launch in 1956, Love Hearts have become not only one of Swizzels Matlow's most popular products, but also as one of Britain's most enduring and recognisable icons, appearing not just on the sweet but on products as diverse as curtains to cosmetics and have featured everywhere from the former Millennium Dome to a Kate Nash music video.

Original captions from the 1950s, such as 'Sexy Sue', 'Dream Girl', 'Be Gay' and 'Cutie Pie', evolved into 21st century vernacular such as 'Text Me', 'Doh' and 'Luv You 24/7'.

Andrew Matlow, communications director at Swizzles Matlow, explained: "We always knew that Love Hearts held a special place in the nation's heart, but the response to the competition has been absolutely overwhelming."

The ten messages chosen to appear on Love Hearts were: Heart Baby, Mermaid Eloise, Happy Harry, Joyful Jo, Kin of U Home, Me Julie Best Mum, Juicy Jessie, I Luv Alan, Granny P, Think Pink.