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Meet The Man Born With Head Upside Down

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A man born with physical disabilities so severe that his head is upside down has defied the odds to become an inspirational public speaker.

"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", says 37 year old Claudio Viera de Oliveira. 

Claudio was born with his neck folded back on itself, deformed legs, and almost no use of his arms and hands.

Doctors told his mother to stop feeding Claudio as a newborn because they believed he had no chance of survival. But Claudio from Monte Santo has overcome his extreme disadvantages to graduate as an accountant and become a public speaker.

He said "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".

Claudio's determined independence saw him succeeding at school and qualifying as an accountant from the State University of Feira de Santana.

When Claudio was born, doctors told his mother Maria Jose, that he would not be able to survive.

According to Maria Jose, "People started saying 'the baby is going to die' because he could barely breathe 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".

Claudio types with a pen held in his mouth, operates phones and a computer mouse with his lips and has specially made shoes that enable him move around town.

At eight years old, Claudio, who had previously been carried everywhere, began to walk on his knees. His family had to change the floor of the hopuse so he could walk around without causing harm to himself. His bed, plugs and lights were made lower so he could do things for himself without asking for help.

Claudio can not use a wheelchair because of his unusual shape, making it hard for him to be independent outside the home - but he begged his mother to allow him go to school and learn with other children.

Recently, doctors have diagnosed Claudio with a rare condition called Congenital Arthrogryposis. They believe he has multiple joint contractions in his legas and arms which mean they can not extend properly.

"Throughout my life, I was able to adapt my body to the world. I doon't see myself as being different. I am a normal person", Claudio said.

He further went on to say that "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".

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