Augmentative Communication Program
The Robert Charm Fund
Robert E. Charm was a writer and magazine editor who wrote on a wide variety of subjects with a specialty in business journalism. He wrote about topics as varied as survivalists to a motorcycle tour he took with Malcolm Forbes. But above all he loved to communicate both through the written word and in conversation with friends and associates.
In 1988 he was diagnosed as having a condition called arterial venous malformation, which is a tangle of blood vessels in the brain. In 1990 he had a brain bleed. After many months in the hospital and in therapy he returned to writing and he got married. The stroke cost him the use of his left arm, leg and right eye. He continued to write using just his right hand. He poked fun at those who would term him physically challenged.
In 1993, he suffered a second bleed. This robbed him of the ability to speak, to walk or to ever really communicate again. He died in 1998 at the age of 44 from complications of this second stroke.
In retrospect some of Robert's most poignant and important work were the articles that told of his struggles to recover and live his life.
As a living tribute to Robert, a fund, in his name has been established at Boston Children's Hospital, so that others who have lost the ability to communicate can do so.
The fund has purchased select Augmentative Communication devices to be trialed by patients with brain injury who have participated in an evaluation through the ACP. During this trial, patients participate in weekly therapy/remote monitoring to assess the appropriateness of the trialed technology.
Under the direction of Dr. Howard Shane, with financial assistance from the Robert E. Charm Fund, individuals are able to regain a piece of their lives.