Just over a year has passed since snowboarder Alex “Chumpy” Pullin died in a spearfishing accident off the coast of Australia.
Since then, his partner, Ellidy Pullin, has become pregnant with their first child, a life milestone that she describes as a “dream” in an essay for Australia’s Vogue. According to Ellidy, she was able to achieve this through sperm retrieval, a “rigorous” process in which sperm is harvested from a deceased person’s body.
“It’s only with the benefit of time, that I truly understand the enormous amount of effort my family, friends, lawyers, and doctors put in, in those critical hours after Chump passed away, to give me the opportunity to continue our dream of starting a family,” she writes. “Even the fact that Chumpy’s accident occurred on a weekday meant that the roll call of specialists I needed to make this possible were available; had it been a weekend, my future may have looked vastly different.”
Ellidy shares that she and the 32-year-old Olympian were already in the process of trying to become pregnant when he died last August, but she needed time to grieve his death before going through IVF (in vitro fertilization).