- Wednesday, 18 November 2020
After Apple announced its latest iPhone series in October, the internet was flooded with memes and jokes. Among these memes, the meme that probably did rounds the most was which talked about selling your kidney to be able to purchase an iPhone.
The kidney meme, however, is not new and went onto become an appalling reality for 25-year-old Chinese man Wang Shangkun. In 2011, the then 17-year old Shangkun, who comes from China's Anhui province, peddled his kidneys in exchange of $3,273 to purchase an iPad 2 and an iPhone 4. At the time, Shangkun was quoted as saying, "Why do I need two kidneys? One is enough."
As he was very keen on owning Apple devices, he reverted to a message from a black market organ peddler on an online chatroom. In this chat, he told that he could earn over $3,000 by selling the organ.
Soon after this conversation, the then 17-year old Wang underwent an illegal surgery in the Hunan province to remove his right kidney. Within a few months, he developed an infection in the remaining kidney owing to unhygienic operation location and the lack of post-operative care, according to a Vice report. His condition deteriorated and he is now bedridden due to a renal deficiency and requires regular dialysis.
His mother grew suspicious when she saw him enter the home with expensive Apple devices and made him confess about the surgery. Following this, nine people were booked under charges of intentional injury and organ trading.