One common joke or meme after launch of every iPhone in developing countries is that “you will need to sell your kidney to buy Apple’s newest smartphone”. The statement is rooted in the belief that iPhones are so expensive that you will need to sell your organs to buy one. However, a new story shows how such a measure could lead to tragic turn.
According to Oriental Daily, a Chinese media platform, Xiao Wang went to such extremes and sold one of kidney to buy iPhone 4 almost seven years ago. Call it Wang’s ill fortune, the decision did not work out the way he would have anticipated. The report states that when iPhone 4 was launched, Wang was only 17 and at that time, the iPhone 4 was described as a “must-have” device in this school. In fact, those who owned one were treated differently and Wang, now 24, decided that he needs to have one as well.
In his quest to own iPhone 4 whatsoever, Wang realized that his family’s financial situation would not allow for him to buy Apple’s shiny new smartphone. He then started looking for ways to procure additional cash needed to buy the iPhone 4 and eventually he was informed about an underground operation where he could sell his kidney for cash.
Wang’s decision was supported by information that he needed only one kidney to survive. An underground hospital that he found offered him an estimated RMB 22,000 (around Rs 223,300 or $3,200), which was more than enough to buy the newest iPhone from Apple. Wang did not think through and sold his kidney. At the time of operation, Wang was told that he would be able to lead a normal life after a week of recovery. However, what he did not know back then was that the operating environment was not sanitized properly, leading to infection on his wound.
“Worse still, his parents were kept in the dark about this major operation and only found out when the teen became terribly sick from the infection,” the report mentioned. By the time Xiao sought proper treatment from a proper hospital, the function of his single kidney had deteriorated to an extent that he has been forced to bed for the past seven years and his family was pushed into financial crisis due to expenses incurred for dialysis and other treatments.
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The report notes that both the arbitrator and the illegal hospital which performed the process on Wang were brought to justice. Xiao’s family reportedly received “sufficient” monetary compensation from the court. However, the ordeal has been so long and so hard that Wang has already lost his youth and dialysis is only expect to further complicate his ideas of leading a normal life. It is one of the many stories of a desire to own Apple’s flagship product taking a catastrophic turn.