If you’ve ever got annoyed your body isn’t perfect, Claudio Vieira de Oliveira will give you a sense of perspective.
He has badly deformed legs, almost no use of his arms and hands, and his head is on upside-down.
Claudio, 37, was born with congenital arthogryposis, deformities so extreme that his mum was advised by doctors to let him die. Luckily for him she didn’t listen, and he’s gone on to prove to the world that he can do what anyone can do, and probably do it better.
His mother said: ‘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 now, having taught himself to be largely independent, he considers himself normal. He is an inspirational public speaker and also has a degree in accountancy.
Claudio, who lives in Brazil, 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.
‘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 can even get around town with the use of some special shoes having learned to walk on his knees since his body is too deformed for a wheelchair.
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.’