A young Chinese man, Xiao Wang, is reportedly disabled for life after he sold one of his kidneys to buy an iPhone 4.

Wang had the operation to remove the kidney when he was 17 years old without the knowledge of his parents, and now that he was 24, the decision had affected him badly.

The doctor who carried out the operation assured him of a normal life with just one kidney, but almost eight years on, Wang is permanently disabled and dependent on dialysis.

According to the report, the iPhone 4 was Apple’s flagship smartphone and a status symbol at Xiao Wang’s school in Chengzhou, China back in 2011. But because he came from a poor family and his parents could not afford to buy him the trendy gadget, the desperate boy decided to sell one of his healthy organs in order to get his hands on enough money to buy the iPhone.

With help from a middleman, Wang allegedly got in touch with shady characters who specialised in trading organs on the black market and agreed to sell one of his kidneys for 22,000 yuan ($3,200), more than enough to buy the iPhone 4 he so badly desired.

The 17-year-old figured that he only needed one of his kidneys to survive and the dubious doctor he met before the operation confirmed that he would be able to lead a normal life with just one of his organs.

The procedure was reportedly carried out in an illegal hospital in Chenzou, and even though it was considered a success at the time, health complications arose soon after.

“Unfortunately, the operating environment wasn’t sanitised properly, which led to an infection on his wound,” the report stated.

“Worse still, Wang’s family were kept in the dark about his kidney removal operation and only found out about it when the teen couldn’t hide his health problems any longer,” it added. It was also established that because he did not dare tell his parents what he had done (and what for), the infection spread to his remaining kidney, and by the time his family took him to a proper hospital for treatment, the damage to his kidney was so severe that the only possible way to ensure his survival was permanent dialysis.