Broke teen who sold kidney for an iPhone now bedridden for life
A Chinese man is now bedridden for life after he sold his right kidney as a teenager to the black market to buy the latest Apple products.
Wang Shangkun was 17 years old when he made the fatal decision. Shortly after the illegal surgery he began suffering from a decreased level of kidney function.
Eight years on, the 25-year-old is now bedridden for life after his remaining organ failed.
Mr. Shangkun had sold his kidney to black market organ harvesters in April 2011 where he received AUD$4500 — purchasing a iPhone 4 and iPad 2 with the funds.
“Why do I need a second kidney? One is enough,” he said in reports at the time.
Mr. Wang now spends his days in bed and relies on dialysis to survive his kidney failure, local Chinese media recently revealed.
The illegal surgery had caused him to develop renal deficiency which is believed to have led to an infection due to the unsanitary setting of where it took place and the apparent lack of post-operative care, Mirror UK reported.
The operation occurred in the central province of Hunan without his parents’ consent. It was reportedly undertaken by two doctors who were also employed at local hospitals.
At the time Chinese newspaper Xinhua reported that Wang first made contact with the alleged harvesters through internet chat rooms.
He Wei, reportedly the leader of the gang, then made arrangements to hire a surgeon who worked at a nearby military hospital.
Speaking to CNTV.cncn, Wang said: “At the time, I wanted to buy an iPad2, but I didn’t have any money.”
“When I was on the internet, I had a kidney agent send a message, saying that selling a kidney can give me 20,000.”
Wang received the equivalent of about $A3,500 for his kidney at the time. The rest of the money was divided up among the gang.
Nine people were arrested in connection with the case and five, including the surgeons who harvested his kidney, were jailed in 2012.
His family was eventually awarded about $300,000 in compensation later the same year, The Mirror reported.
Mr. Wang allegedly sought the new iPhone in order to show off to his friends.
His family lived in one of China’s poorest provinces and could not afford it, so he turned to other means to raise the money.