Man With An Upside-Down Head Chose Not To Give Up
Claudio Vieira de Olivera was born with congenital arthrogryposis, a rare degenerative disease that caused his head to pull backwards.
In addition, he suffers from several other disabilities, including curved limbs. Apart from looking at the world from a different perspective, the 37-year-old Brazilian almost has no use in his arms and legs. When he was born, the doctors said he would die and advised his mother to stop feeding him.
Luckily, his mother didn’t listen to them, and today, Claudio is a successful inspirational public speaker. Since he never felt like he was any different from other people, this brave man overcame his difficulties and also graduated from university as an accountant.
“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. I do a bit of accounting, research for clients and consulting. 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.”
“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. Nowadays it’s much easier to deal with the public, I’m not afraid of it anymore and I can say that I am a professional, international public speaker and that I receive invitations from all over the world.”
Although he couldn’t use a wheelchair because of his body’s unusual shape, Claudio went to school from an early age and learned to walk on his knees. He has managed to overcome any obstacle in his way and his mother has always been there to support him.
“People started saying ‘the baby is going to die’ because he could barely breath when he was born. Some people would say: ‘Don’t feed him, he is already dying’. But there’s only happiness now. 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.”