A young man is ruing his decision of selling one of his kidneys as a teenager on the black market in order to buy a new iPhone and iPad.
He is now disabled, bedbound and needing constant care, according to recent reports on Chinese media.
In the report published by Daily Mail UK, the man identified only by his surname, Wang, 25, had his kidney removed in an underground clinic before selling it on the black market for 22,000 yuan (£2,528) in 2011 when he was just 17 years old.
“The teenager wanted an iPhone and iPad desperately in order to prove to his classmates that he was trendy, but his cash-strapped parents could not afford them,” the newspaper reports.
His story shocked the country at the time, leading iPhones to be billed as ‘kidney machines’ by web users.
According to the newspaper, the high school student found three middlemen on a Chinese online chatting platform QQ, who promised to help him realise his dream of owning the gadgets – but at the cost of one kidney.
To complete the transaction, Wang travelled from his hometown in the eastern Anhui Province – one of China’s poorest provinces – to the southern Hunan Province in April, 2011.
He organised his travels secretly and neither of his parents was aware of his plan.
Upon his arrival, the middlemen introduced the boy to two surgeons, one surgeon’s assistant and one nurse, all of who worked at local hospitals and were moonlighting.
Seven years later after selling his kidney, Wang’s life has become extremely difficult.
The man, who used to be a good-looking 6ft3in teenager, has to lie in bed day in day out, relying on his family to look after him, reported Chinese website iFeng and Yahoo News in Taiwan.
He had to forsake his studies and was living on social benefits, the article said.
He is also said to suffer from renal failure and need regular dialysis.
Apple products were once the most desirable electronic gadgets in China, but were priced beyond the reach of many people in the country. The price for an iPhone is often the whole month’s salary of an office worker in a big city.