The teen just wanted to show off his new iPhone among his friends. Now, he's bedridden forever.
When you think of smartphones, iPhones, and Androids immediately comes to mind. However, we can agree that iPhones has a thriving market. It is believed that during the fourth quarter of 2018 (October 1 - Dec 31), Apple sold 46.89 million iPhones worldwide. However, annually that year, Apple had shipped 217.72 million iPhones worldwide.
With every new iPhone model that Apple releases, the more expensive it gets. The increasing demand for Apple products also gave rise to memes. At some point, you would have probably come across the "sell kidney to buy iPhone," right? Well, someone finally did it.
In 2011, a teenager from China, Wang Shangkun, was so desperate to get his hands on that year's latest iPhone that he was ready to do anything, even if it meant selling his kidney. According to The Mirror, the then 17-year-old sold one of his kidneys in the Chinese black market to buy an iPhone with the money he would receive. He was confident that he could live without a kidney but not the iPhone.
After selling his kidney for about $3,200 to the black market organ harvesters in China, he fulfilled his wish of buying an iPhone 4 along with an iPad 2, reports Epoch Times. At the time he had said, "Why do I need a second kidney? One is enough." Now, he's bedridden. To survive every day after his kidney failure, Wang who's now 27, relies on dialysis, as per Fox News.
After the surgery, the teenager developed a renal deficiency. The lack of hygiene at the place where the surgery took place, coupled with the lack of postoperative care led to severe infection. Following the kidney failure, Shangkun had to drop out of college and give up on his dreams. He has no other option but to live on social benefits.
His parents were unaware that their son had taken such a drastic step just to buy an iPhone, and so the surgery took place in the Hunan district of China without their approval. The illegal operation was performed by doctors from a local hospital after the boy got in touch with organ harvesters via the internet.
"At the time, I wanted to buy an iPad2, but I didn’t have any money," admitted Shangkun, according to local papers. "When I was on the Internet, I had a kidney agent send a message, saying that selling a kidney can give me 20,000."
In 2012, a year after the incident took place, nine people were arrested in connection to the incident, and five people were jailed including the surgeons who harvested his kidney. Shangkun's family was awarded some money as compensation. If reports are to be believed, the teen boy wanted to buy the expensive phone and tablet to show off among his friends.
Five charged after Chinese teen sells kidney to buy iPhone http://t.co/zw30pow5— Wonders Of Arabia (@WondersOfArabia) October 3, 2012
Social media denizens who read about Shangkun's story on Facebook were quick to react to it as well. Wade McWilliams noted, "You know you always hear the joke about selling your kidney or body part for an Apple product. But I never thought I'd see the day when it actually happened."
Rachell Sampson, expressing disbelief and sympathy for the boy, added, "This is just terrible! Kids do stupid things but to have this be the rest of his life is unimaginable! I’m really glad to read that those in connection with the incident were arrested and jailed! I think they should all be tested for being a match and whoever is the lucky draw has to give up their own kidney!"