Dr. Shaylee Dave is the Board Vice-Chair and joined the Star Legacy Foundation Board of Directors in 2021. Dr. Dave is an internal medicine specialist and hospitalist at University Health Care in Augusta, Georgia. She completed her medical training at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and an internship and residency in internal medicine at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. Dr. Dave and her husband Naveen Dittakavi are parents to Sonum Leela Dittakavi, who was stillborn as the result of an umbilical cord accident one day before her due date on September 20, 2018.
“Sonum’s short life left a lasting impact on my husband and I. Our purpose as her parents is to leave a lasting legacy for her life. This legacy includes supporting other families who experience this heartbreaking loss as well as encouraging research in efforts geared towards Stillbirth prevention. Star Legacy has been the single most important resource in us finding our path to healing. To find a shared purpose and passion for something so close to my heart, gives my daughter’s life meaning that would otherwise be lost. As part of the Star Legacy Board of Directors, I hope to be able to provide my expertise as a physician working in a hospital and as a loss mother to encourage more healthcare participation in Stillbirth support, education and research. I remember after the loss of Sonum being shocked to learn that stillbirth is 10 times more common than SIDS. I felt let down by both my education and my body. No mother should experience this kind of loss and no healthcare provider should write it off saying it “isn’t preventable”. The work Star Legacy has done by creating incredible support groups, supporting research efforts and the Star Legacy Stillbirth Summit has been tremendous. But there is still so much to be done. Stillbirth should become “common knowledge” just like SIDS is today.”