Every time Apple launches its iPhone, kidney jokes start circulating on social media. Netizens, in a funny way, say that they would have to sell their kidney to purchase an iPhone. A young man in China turned this joke into reality in 2011, when he got his kidney removed to buy an iPhone 4 and an iPad2.
The man named Wang Shangkun was 17 in 2011. He is currently bedridden and attached to a dialysis machine after suffering renal deficiency.
A few months after undergoing surgery, he developed an infection in his remaining kidney, resulting in the organ failure. With each passing month, his health condition has deteriorated. At one point, it became so severe that he was unable to get off the bed. Owing to this, he requires daily dialysis to clear his blood of toxins.
What happened nine years ago was shocking. Shangkun was desperate to get his hands on the two Apple devices. An organ harvester approached him online, offering 20,000 yuan for selling the organ.
Owing to his desperation, he replied to the harvester’s messages. After making the deal on chat, Shangkun underwent an illegal surgery in the central Hunan province to sell one kidney. Fox News last year cited nine-year old media reports to mention that the man at that time said he did not need the second kidney as one was enough.
The news website reported that the operation took place without the consent of his parents. The operation was performed by two doctors employed at local hospitals. Police arrested nine people in connection with the case. Those arrested also included the surgeons who carried out the operation.
Shangkun’s family received a compensation of about $3,00,000 in the same year the case happened. He belongs to a family which could not afford to get him an iPhone, so he decided to get his one kidney removed. He allegedly bought the new iPhone in order to show off to his friends.