By Rosa Golijan
A Chinese teenager recently broke his mother’s heart when he revealed that he’d undergone a risky surgery to remove and sell his kidney — in order to purchase an iPad 2.
The Telegraph reports that the 17-year-old decided to partake in the cash-for-kidney exchange after seeing an online advertisement:
I wanted to buy an iPad 2, but I didn’t have the money. [...] When I surfed the internet I found an advert posted online by agent saying they were able to pay RMB20,000 [$3,085] to buy a kidney.
The boy proceeded to follow the instructions in the ad, negotiated a fee with the agent and his partners, and traveled to the city of Chenzhou in the Hunan Province. His kidney was removed at a local hospital, and he was discharged after three days. He was paid about $3,400 for the procedure.
With that kind of money in his pocket, the boy went on a shopping spree. He purchased the iPad 2 he coveted, along with other electronics and headed home:
“When he came back, he had a laptop and a new Apple handset,” his mother, identified as Miss Liu, told [a local news station], showing off the livid red scar where her son’s kidney was removed, “I wanted to know how he had got so much money and he finally confessed that he had sold one of his kidneys.”
But everything didn’t go so smoothly: The boy suffered medical complications as a result of the surgery. He and his mother reached out to local authorities and attempted to contact the agents who’d arranged the procedure, but they had little luck:
The mother took the son back to Chenzhou to report the crime to the police, however, the mobiles of the three agents that Zheng had contacted were all switched off.
The hospital, which admitted contracting out its urology department to a private businessman, denied any knowledge of the surgery.

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