Kidney sale shock: Chinese teen parts with organ to fund gadget obsession

Photo: Sanook

When a favourite technology brand launches a new product, it often creates a buzz and instantly becomes popular. Yet, a teenager made an unexpected kidney sale choice to fund such a purchase, selling a kidney to buy the latest gadgets.

Wang, allegedly born into a less-than-affluent family in one of China’s poorest areas, was desperate to own high-end communication devices. So, in 2011, at 17 years old, he decided to sell an organ to purchase the desired mobile phone.

“One kidney is enough. Why do I need another one? Why not sell it for money?”

After contacting an online organ dealer, an illegal operation took place. The 17 year old boy followed the organ dealer to a private clinic, enduring a nine-hour operation in exchange for 22,000 yuan (100,000 baht). Later, Wang’s left kidney was sold for 220,000 yuan (over 1 million baht), meaning he received only 10% of the total amount. The money was quickly spent on a mobile phone and tablet from the same brand.

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Wang’s family immediately became suspicious of how he had acquired the funds to buy these items. After some interrogation, their son admitted to selling his kidney. The family alerted the police, who eventually arrested nine people involved in the case, five of whom were charged with intentional injury and organ trafficking. Wang’s family received compensation of 1.47 million yuan (7.4 million baht).

However, in court, Wang’s mother insisted that her son did not sell his kidney to buy technology.

“My son was lured by illegal organ traders and might have been afraid of being caught with a large amount of money. So, he bought the phone and tablet.”

Healthy teenager

Selling his kidney had severe health consequences for Wang. Due to the underground operation, poor sanitation, and lack of post-operative care, his remaining kidney became infected.

The once healthy young man, standing 191 centimetres tall with a robust body, is now suffering from severe kidney failure. He is bedridden, weighing only 45 kilograms. His health deterioration led to him dropping out of school. He relies on his family’s care and undergoes regular dialysis to sustain his life as his remaining kidney is unable to function.

Over the past decade, Wang’s life has been filled with pain. While his peers are pursuing their youthful dreams, he is tethered to a dialysis machine, medication, and frequent hospital visits. Not only can he not work and support his family due to his poor health, but he also relies on his parents’ care.

After the kidney for a mobile phone incident was shared on social media, Wang became a topic of conversation for everyone, from classmates to neighbours, relatives, and even unfamiliar relatives. Every time a new phone model is launched, his story is repeatedly mentioned.

The social attacks make him introverted and unwilling to interact with others. He wants to stay at home and play online games, but no matter how much he hides, he is still drawn into the rumours.

Wang’s mother said that her son tends to resign himself to his fate and cannot escape from the shadows of his past kidney sale. She hopes to find a psychological counselling centre to help her son recover from his mental illness and return to society. Several times, her son has sadly told her, “Mom, my kidney is gone.” This often gives her nightmares, in which her son’s organs are sold to unknown places, reported Sanook.

Tragedy, neglect, regret: Wang’s story

It’s not just Wang who has to face various issues. His parents also feel embarrassed when going outside. Sometimes they don’t even dare to meet their neighbours’ eyes. However, looking back at this heartbreaking event, they can’t ignore their role and responsibilities.

Wang’s mother also said that before the kidney sale, even though the family was not very rich, they were very happy. When her son was in junior high school, he was a good student, particularly interested in history and sports. He was eager and cheerful, always making his parents proud.

But everything started to change in high school. During that time, Wang’s grades dropped, he was engrossed in various games, and he even got in touch with bad people online. However, his parents admitted that they did not pay proper attention to their son at that time.

They did not guide and educate their son well, and communication with him was minimal. Moreover, they had too high expectations of their son, which made him feel tremendous pressure that he could not avoid.

The tragedy that Wang faced serves as a warning to those who are careless and take health issues lightly. More than 10 years ago, Wang had a lot of money to buy technology equipment. But now he has to pay several times more than that to fight for life every day.

World News

Samantha Rose

Samantha was a successful freelance journalist who worked with international news organisations before joining Thaiger. With a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from London, her global perspective on news and current affairs is influenced by her days in the UK, Singapore, and across Thailand. She now covers general stories related to Thailand.

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