It was a love story with a heartbreaking twist.
Two years ago, Ellidy Pullin lost her soulmate, Olympic snowboarder Alex “Chumpy” Pullin, in a devastating diving accident.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Ellidy Pullin talks about losing Chumpy and her new book
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While trying to cope with such a great loss, she also made a life-changing decision — one that would eventually help keep Chumpy’s legacy alive.
Podcaster and model Ellidy met three-time Olympic and world champion Alex “Chumpy” Pullin at a friend’s party – and they became inseparable.
The couple had just bought their dream home on the Gold Coast and were trying to have a baby when tragedy struck.
On July 8, 2020, Ellidy’s partner of eight years died in a spearfishing accident in Queensland.
Thirty-six hours after she lost him, she was offered to keep a small part of Chumpy alive – and posthumously made the decision to collect his sperm.
Then, fifteen months after his death, a little miracle was born – baby Minnie.
Ellidy has now put pen to paper and written a book about her journey called Heartstrong: Chumpy, Minnie and Me.
In it she tells her story of sadness, joy and how she carries on Chumpy’s legacy with Minnie.
“I wrote to my baby before she was born,” she wrote in the book.
“In her baby book I wrote, ‘You’re so lucky, you have the best dad in the whole world.
“He’s the biggest legend.
“I’ll show you everything he is – and was – but he’s not here.
“And he won’t be here.
“But you’re so lucky he’s your father.”
Speaking to The Morning Show on Wednesday, Ellidy said Minnie’s first year has been a “roller coaster ride.”
She had just hours to make the decision to have Chumpy’s sperm collected, describing it as a “weird” but right decision.
Heartache meant it took Ellidy a few months to be strong enough to start IVF.
The first round didn’t work – but the second did.
“I was so shocked at the time,” she told Morning Show co-host Larry Emdur of asking if she wanted to harvest Chumpy’s sperm.
“The idea of sperm retrieval came to me and my family; We were so shocked but the answer was yes let’s do it.
“If we didn’t do that in six months, we wouldn’t have an opportunity to have Minnie, so it was like if we didn’t do that now, we’d regret it later.”
Ellidy said her first year with Minnie was “busy, she was such a little legend, just like her dad.”
“Look, the worst thing you can imagine has happened,” she told Kylie Gillies of Chumpy’s death at just 32.
“And then it became the best of it.
“I don’t think too much, I just take each day as it comes.”
Ellidy said the grief was still coming in waves two years later, but things got a little better every day.
“I hated hearing that ‘time heals’ line at first, but it’s true, the waves get longer and wider each time,” she said.
“Time really helps heal a bit.”
Ellidy said writing Heart Strong with co-author Alley Pascoe was a “super therapeutic” experience.
“It was tough, there were obviously really difficult moments, but I think when you tell a story, you kind of have to tell the whole story.”
In it, she wrote about the little bit of comfort she took in knowing Chumpy died in a place he loved – in the water.
“I remember Chumpy dying doing something he loved in the place he loved most: the ocean,” she wrote.
“It’s cold comfort, but it’s something.
“I’ve told my story from that day over and over again, but it still doesn’t feel real.
“Most of my memories of that day are gone, the details have become unattainable.
“All I have left is this story. This stupid story I wish I didn’t have to tell.”
Now, Ellidy said she took some of the power Chumpy had to take on new roles.
“It kind of compelled me to be a better person, to treat life differently,” she said.
“If I can help other grieving people, teach them or show them how to celebrate a life that is no longer there and keep that person’s memory alive or normalize talking about grief, I will do that.
“Countless people have come to me whose spouses have died and they said, ‘Thank you for sharing your story. I have now been able to retrieve my partner’s sperm and am trying to have a baby.’ ”
Heartstrong is out now.
https://7news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity/ellidy-lost-her-soulmate-alex-chumpy-pullin-two-years-ago-now-his-legacy-lives-on-in-baby-minnie-c-8455898 Ellidy lost her soulmate Alex “Chumpy” Pullin two years ago. Now his legacy lives on in Baby Minnie