When Claudio Vieira de Oliveira was born 37 years ago with a rare condition causing him to have severely deformed limbs, doctors told his mother to let him starve to death as his life wouldn’t be worth living.
But nearly four decades later and those same doctors would be astonished to learn that Claudio not only lived, but is a successful motivational speaker, despite his limitations and the fact that he has an upside-down head or Arthrogryposis.
Claudio, who comes from Monte Santo, Brazil, is also an accomplished accountant. He is an example to everyone on how it is possible to achieve anything in life if they put their mind to it.
The Daily Mail reported that Claudio spoke to reporters about his life and what it has been like to live with Arthrogryposis:
“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.”
He revealed that he 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.
Due to his independence, Claudio has been able to to succeed with his studies at school, and he even qualified as an accountant from the State University of Feira de Santana.
Claudio’s mother, Maria Jose, recalls that when her son was born doctors gave him little chance of survival:
“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.”
Congenital arthrogryposis is a rare condition that causes curved joints in several areas of the body at birth. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a deformation of the joints themselves, but one of the tissues that surrounds them, thus fusing the joints in place. It is caused by a number of factors, including lack of space in the uterus, muscle abnormalities, nerve abnormalities, blood circulation problems, and maternal illness.
There are many people in the world who, by sheer strength of will and spirit, manage to overcome their handicaps and help put our daily problems into perspective. Claudio Vieira de Oliveira is a true inspiration to us all.