Brazilian man with his head upside down vows to return to motivational speaking after Covid isolation

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Brazilian man with upside-down vows pledges to return to motivational speaking and bring positivity back to the world after spending a year in isolation over Covid-19

  • Claudio Vieira de Oliveira, 44, has arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, a rare condition that affects his joints
  • His mother was told he wouldn’t live more than a day, but he’s defied the odds
  • ‘Claudinho’ lives in the Brazilian state of Bahia and has been a motivational speaker since 2000

An upside-down Brazilian man has vowed to return to motivational speaking next month after a long year of isolation from Covid-19.

Claudio Vieira de Oliveira, 44, has a rare condition called arthrogryposis multiplex congenita that affects his joints. He has muscle atrophy in his legs, his arms are attached to his chest, and most notably, his head is turned all the way back, supported by his back.

Vieira de Oliveira has not stopped pursuing his passions and has worked as a motivational speaker for over twenty years. He has also released a DVD and an autobiography.

Claudio Vieira de Oliveira, 44, who lives with shriveled legs, his arms pressed to his chest and his head turned back, supported by his back.  At birth, he was only given 24 hours to live

'Claudinho' has not stopped pursuing his passions and has been working as a motivational speaker since 2000.  He has also published an autobiography and released a DVD.

'Claudinho' has not stopped pursuing his passions and has been working as a motivational speaker since 2000.  He has also published an autobiography and released a DVD.

Claudio Vieira de Oliveira, 44, who lives with shriveled legs, his arms pressed to his chest and his head turned back, supported by his back. At birth, he was only given 24 hours to live

'Claudinho' says he lives a 'normal life' and his disability has not stopped him from doing what he loves, something he hopes to do next month in a speech scheduled for April 28.

'Claudinho' says he lives a 'normal life' and his disability has not stopped him from doing what he loves, something he hopes to do next month in a speech scheduled for April 28.

He lives in the small town of Monte Santo in the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia.  He has walked on his knees since he was seven and learned to read and write from his mother

He lives in the small town of Monte Santo in the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia.  He has walked on his knees since he was seven and learned to read and write from his mother

He lives in the small town of Monte Santo in the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia. He has walked on his knees since he was seven and learned to read and write from his mother

Vieira de Oliveira, known to his friends as ‘Claudinho’, was said to live no more than 24 hours after he was born.

However, he challenged the odds and walked on his knees with specially designed support since the age of seven, learning to read and write at home from his mother.

He lives in the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia, in the small municipality of Monte Santo with 49,278 inhabitants.

Despite its head, 'Claudinho' has no trouble seeing, breathing, eating or drinking

Despite its head, 'Claudinho' has no trouble seeing, breathing, eating or drinking

He hopes to 'live for many years' and is eager to revive his passions and routine after a long year in isolation.  Pictured above: 'Claudinho' with his mother

He hopes to 'live for many years' and is eager to revive his passions and routine after a long year in isolation.  Pictured above: 'Claudinho' with his mother

He hopes to ‘live for many years’ and is eager to revive his passions and routine after a long year in isolation. Despite his condition, he has no trouble seeing, eating, drinking or breathing

Over the past year, 'Claudinho' has been 'twice as careful' to stay safe and protected from Covid-19

Over the past year, 'Claudinho' has been 'twice as careful' to stay safe and protected from Covid-19

Over the past year, ‘Claudinho’ has been ‘twice as careful’ to stay safe and protected from Covid-19

Despite its head, ‘Claudinho’ has no trouble seeing, breathing, eating or drinking.

He told the Brazilian news site G1: ‘I’ve never had any problems, my life is normal. I’m in full quarantine because this Covid is very aggressive, it’s deadly so we’re scared.

“I’m more than twice as careful, I’ve been in isolation for over a year, and I leave the house alone to find out things that only I can do personally, like banking.”

In addition to his motivational speaking, 'Claudinho' also works as a volunteer at the local Christian education project Alegra-te that works with vulnerable children

In addition to his motivational speaking, 'Claudinho' also works as a volunteer at the local Christian education project Alegra-te that works with vulnerable children

In addition to his motivational speaking, ‘Claudinho’ also works as a volunteer at the local Christian education project Alegra-te that works with vulnerable children

'Claudinho' did not let his disability prevent him from living a happy and busy life.  Pictured above 'Claudinho' and his friends are enjoying a day at the beach

'Claudinho' did not let his disability prevent him from living a happy and busy life.  Pictured above 'Claudinho' and his friends are enjoying a day at the beach

‘Claudinho’ did not let his disability prevent him from living a happy and busy life. Pictured above ‘Claudinho’ and his friends are enjoying a day at the beach

‘Claudinho’ is also a volunteer for the local Christian education project Alegra-te that works with vulnerable children.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought his usually busy life to a halt as he has stood in isolation at home to stay safe, but he hopes to get back on track next month.

‘I miss it so much. I have a speech in the Bezerra Congregation, in the [north-eastern Brazilian] state of Pernamubco, scheduled for April 28. If the pandemic subsides, it will continue. ‘

What is Arthrogryposis multiplex congenita?

Arthrogryposis, also called arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (AMC), is a term used to describe a variety of conditions involving multiple joint contractures.

The cause is unknown, although arthrogryposis is believed to be related to insufficient space in utero and low amniotic fluid. The patient may have an underlying neurological condition or a connective tissue condition.

Symptoms in patients with arthrogryposis can vary widely. In most cases, both the arms and legs are involved.

Joint muscle contractures usually occur in the wrist, hand, elbow, and shoulder on either side of the body.

While there is no cure for arthrogryposis, there are non-surgical and surgical methods to improve range of motion and function at the contracture sites.

Source: John Hopkins Medicine

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