Ellidy Vlug initially met Alex Pullin a decade ago at a gathering thrown by a mutual friend. He wasn’t her typical type, yet there was something about him that drew her in.
That something was what made her fall in love with the elite snowboarder. She was by his side during some of his most awe-inspiring moments.
They faced terrible lows in private while they tried to create a family. Alex died in a spearfishing accident on July 8, 2020, while they were attempting to conceive and considered IVF.
Ellidy didn’t want their dream of starting a family to be shattered by Alex’s death. She took his sperm from his body hours after he died and began the IVF process. Alex died in 2020, but Ellidy gave birth to their first child 16 months later.
Alex Pullin’s family was well aware that his relationship with Ellidy Vlug was unique.
His father, Chris, told the Daily Mail, “That was a relationship like no other.”
“They had such a connection, such a shared love. Not many people experience it, they had a deeper level to it,” Alex’s mother added to the conversation.
Many of Alex and Ellidy’s family members were unaware that they had been trying to conceive for months.
Ellidy’s egg count was low, therefore they were considering IVF. The couple had recently adopted a dog as a symbol of their commitment to starting a family.
A couple’s buddy told Ellidy about a woman she knew who had recently lost her husband. She wished she had retrieved his sperm so they could start a family. Ellidy began to take steps to see if it was doable with that thought.
When less than half of the 40-hour window for retrieval had passed, Alex’s sperm were extracted from his body.
Doctors were able to gather enough viable sperm for Ellidy to try IVF because there were still viable sperm to collect.
When Ellidy revealed her pregnancy on Instagram, she wrote about her experience.
“Your Dad and I have been dreaming of you for years little one. With a heart wrenching plot twist in the middle, I am honoured to finally welcome a piece of the phenomenon that is Chumpy back into this world,” she said.
“When my love had his accident, we all held onto hope that I’d be pregnant that month. We’d been trying for a baby.”
“IVF was on our cards but it wasn’t something I ever imagined I’d be tackling on my own,” she added.
“Bittersweet like none other, I’ve never been more certain or excited about anything in my entire life🤍.”
On October 25, 2021, Ellidy gave birth to her daughter Minnie Alex Pullin.
“I’ll be talking to my baby saying ‘you’ve got the best dad in the whole world. I will show you everything he is and was, but he’s not here,'” Ellidy spoke to the Daily Mail about it.
“And he [won’t] be here, but you’re so lucky he’s your dad. I can’t put in to words. You can’t describe him in words. You meet him and you feel this energy. He can’t be summed up with words.”