Do you remember how badly (or not) you wanted your first smartphone, or specifically, an iPhone? How you pleaded with your parents to get you one, the bargaining with them and all the envy you felt when you saw you friends had one and you didn’t?

This man from China, though, may have thought the same feelings were unbearable at the time, and went through drastic, life-altering measures just to get the highly-coveted gadgets that are considered social status symbols.

A 25-year-old man in China, Wang Shangkun, is currently bedridden and experiencing renal deficiency. It was reported that he had sold his kidney on the black market, after undergoing dangerous surgery in an unsanitary manner.

According to a news report from Australia, then 17-year-old Wang had encountered the organ peddlers and other agents engaged in the illegal trade in internet chat rooms and forums.

At the time, which was eight years ago, Wang was paid approximately $4400. He used the money to buy an iPad 2 and an iPhone 4, which were the latest models at the time.

How did he sell his kidney?

Wang, who is regularly on dialysis related that the surgery happened in the Hunan central province. At the time, his parents did not know that he had undergone the operation.

Two doctors who were employed by local hospitals had performed the harrowing operation.

The leader of the whole operation, a man named He Wei, said that Wang would be given $20,000 for the organ, but the amount was later reduced to $4400 because the money had to be split with everyone who had a hand in harvesting Wang’s kidney.

Why did Wang think selling his kidney for money was a good idea?

In previous interviews with Wang, he said that, “Why do I need a second kidney? One is enough.”

He and his family live in one of the poorest parts of China, and he had no money at the time to afford a smartphone, let alone the latest iPhone and iPad.

“At the time, I wanted to buy an iPad2, but I didn’t have any money.” he said in an interview.

“When I was on the internet, I had a kidney agent send a message, saying that selling a kidney can give me 20,000.” he said in a different report.

Reports also said that he wanted the iPad and iPhone to show off to his friends.

His parents did not know that he had undergone any operation, but when they did, they told the police. A case was filed against nine people in connection with the case, and five were jailed in 2012. Wang and his family were compensated with $300,000 on that same year.

What’s happened to Wang now?

Wang is now bedridden and has to live with complications because of his lack of one kidney. Reports said that the surgery, which was done in unsanitary conditions, had lead to infection and post-operative complications.

Since his parents were also unaware of the operation, Wang wasn’t able to receive the proper aftercare, which could have aggravated his condition.

Header image from Shutterstock, defocused, bedridden patient.

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