Andrew Hoods' first thought was the $500,000 pay-day 3kg of heroin would earn in the streets of Kings Cross.
Only now, languishing in a Bangkok prison where he faces the possibility of a firing squad, has Hoods realised what he left behind in Annandale, where he would have said a last goodbye to his daughter.
What drove a man to leave behind his nine-year-old girl and risk a death penalty for a few kilograms of heroin?
It's a story of drugs, divorce, rehab and a little girl. She's the only thing he truly has left to hold, a memory captured in a picture in his wallet.
In the past few weeks Hoods still fought to kick a heroin addiction, friends from Narcotics Anonymous say.
"I was in rehab with (him) and I know Andy has been struggling not using heroin any more," an NA friend said.
But far from being the candle of hope in Hoods' storm of addiction, Narcotics Anonymous appears to be where the ill-fated plan developed that led him to strap 12 packets of heroin to his chest.
He was a drug mule. He stopped using, or was trying to, but couldn't break the cycle with the NA crowd and tried to smuggle the powder through Suvarnabhumi airport on Wednesday.
"A lot of people in NA send mules over to Thailand," Hoods' friend said. "A lot of people that get off it (drugs) don't use any more but they still sell. They get caught in the trap of the easy dollar from when they were using."
It's not what NA had in mind when it opened the upstairs back room of the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre in King St for addicts to meet for support.
Hoods, from Blacktown, turned to NA after years of drug abuse that led to a divorce and unemployment. Friends last saw him near Broadway about 5am or 6am, two weeks ago.
The next time they saw him he was surrounded by Thai customs officials. His victorious captors wheeled him out, surrounded by the drugs for the cameras.
"I've got my daughter here with me," he said, clutching her photo. "And that's all I've got, man, that's all I've got."