Mom of 17-Year-Old Who Sold Kidney for iPad Couldn't Have Helped Him

ipadI'd love to know how the mom of the Chinese teen who sold his kidney to buy an iPad and an iPod feels now that 5 people have been charged with intentional injury for the roles they played in his case. I'm sure she's at least a tiny bit relieved that some semblance of justice is being served, but considering the 17-year-old boy's deteriorating health, I would think it's a small comfort at best.

The boy, known only by his surname, Wang, now suffers from renal deficiency, a life-threatening condition. All for an iPad. Knowing that her son risked his life for the latest fad must be tearing his mother apart inside, but I understand why Wang did it.

Apple products are incredibly popular in China, and Wang and his mother live in one of the poorest provinces. The kind of place where something like an iPad takes on a much greater meaning: It becomes the symbol of a better life.


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Human organ trade is illegal in China, but of course that doesn't stop it from happening. The only good that can come of this story would be if it stopped more kids from making the same mistake. Because I'm sure they would (and have).

That's why I hope Wang's mother doesn't blame herself. What poverty does to people -- to families -- is often something no amoung of good parenting can prevent or change.

And that is the real tragedy.

Do you think Wang's mom could have done anything to stop him from selling his kidney?


Image via H S/Flickr

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