We usually make jokes about how we may have to sell our body parts just to afford the latest phone or the coolest new shoes but, that was always just a good laugh. However, Wang Shangkun took this joke a little too seriously.
Wang was born in the Eastern Anhui Province, which is one of the poorest sections of China. As a 17-yea-old boy, having a new phone and being able to show it off to his friends was a big deal. However, his parents were struggling to even put food on the table let alone, be able to buy him an expensive iPhone.
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Back in 2011, Shangkun scrolled the internet and found an advert that promised him the money he was looking for but, it wouldn't be without a cost. He communicated with three men on an application called QQ, which is pretty popular in China. They told him to come to the city of Chenzhou which is in the Southern Hunan Province in China, where he would find the 'medical center'. Wang didn't tell his parents, he figured this would be a win-win situation, "I've got two kidneys, I only need one," he was quoted. But, he would obviously regret this when he was finally old enough to know better.
The surgery seemed to go well. Wang walked away with 22,000 RMB which works out to about $3000. He bought his desired iPhone 4 and iPad 2.
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When Wang's mother saw him with these expensive Apple products, she pulled the truth out of him. She was shocked and heartbroken to find out what her son had done. She immediately called the police to report the incident.
In April of 2012, nine people including the three middlemen and the two doctors were charged with illegal organ trading and intentional injury by the public defenders of Chenzhou City.
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It has been 8 years since then and Wang is now 25-years-old. Since his operation, he went into renal failure and has been completely bedridden since. He is totally unable to take care of himself and he needs regular dialysis.