Man Born With Upside Down Head Defies All Odds, Thrives As Motivational Speaker
September 2, 2014
Claudio Vieira de Oliveira, 37, from Monte Santo, Brazil, has arthrogryposis - a condition that fuses joints, leaving sufferers unable to use limbs. But despite his physical limitations, Claudio has defied the odds and is living a successful, happy life as an accountant and inspirational public speaker.
When Claudio was born, doctors told his mother Maria Jose that he would not survive because he could barely breathe on his own. People would even say, "Don't feed him, he is already dying."
But it was Claudio's determination for independence that allowed him to thrive. At eight years old having previously been carried everywhere, he began to walk on his knees.
"Since I was a child I've always liked to keep myself busy and work - I don't like to depend totally on other people," he said. " I have learned to turn on the TV, pick up my cell phone, turn on the radio, use the internet, my computer - I do it all by myself."
Claudio types with a pen held in his mouth, operates phones and a computer mouse with his lips and has specially made shoes that allow him to shuffle around town. He can not use a wheelchair because of his unusual shape.
"But there's only happiness now, " his mother tells the Daily Mail. "Claudio is just like any other person - that's how he was raised in this house. We never tried to fix him and always wanted him to do the normal things everyone else does. That's why he is so confident. He is not ashamed of walking around in the street - he sings and he dances."
Claudio said, "Throughout my life I was able to adapt my body to the world. Right now, I don't see myself as being different. I am a normal person. I don't see things 'upside-down'. This is one of the things I always talk about in my interventions as a public speaker."
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