What would you do if you wanted the latest, greatest gadget but couldn’t afford it? Some of us would pick up a second gig to bring in extra money or wait until the price dropped. Others would look around the house for some old, but usable equipment to sell. A teenager in China chose option number three with tragic results. Like a Klondike commercial gone horribly wrong, 17-year-old Zheng sold his kidney to buy an iPad 2.
The Huaishan City boy desperately wanted an iPad 2, but couldn’t afford the pricey tablet. Consumed by gadget-lust, the teen took to the Internet and searched for a buyer for his spare organ on the black market. He was promptly contacted by a “broker” who arranged for Zhang to receive 20,000 yuan ($3,400 USD) for his right kidney – without parental consent.
Once the deal was struck, Zhang traveled to Chenzhou No. 198 Hospital where the operation was performed “under the supervision of a kidney-selling agent.” After receiving his payment, the teen returned home with a few souvenirs: an iPad, an iPhone, and a large scar. Zheng’s suspicious mother confronted him about the purchases and he came clean.
Mother and son immediately reported the crime but investigators have hit a wall. The hospital where the surgery was performed claimed to have no knowledge of performing the procedure because (surprise, surprise) they’re not licensed to perform organ transplants. They were kind enough to admit that they had been renting out the urology department to a foreign businessman. Investigators then tried to contact the mysterious “broker” but, like Amy Winehouse’s career, they faded to black, never to be heard from again.
So where does this leave young Zheng? He gained a few iProducts, but he’s lost his health. Since the illicit surgery, the teen has been feeling ill and regrets selling his organ. We can only hope that he makes a full recovery and doesn’t take drastic measures when the iPad 3 arrives.