Ex-drug addict shared life story before he died

Ex-drug addict shared life story before he died
Mr Mahmood Salleh shared his story about a drug-ridden life in a book.

SINGAPORE - It was a life of regrets and guilt.

When the cancer from his lungs spread to his brain, the former drug addict was told he had only months to live. To warn others to avoid making his mistakes, he shared the story about his drug-ridden life in a book.

Last Tuesday, Mr Mahmood Salleh, 53, died but only after he had hung on long enough to see the book published.

Mr Mahmood had been a smoker for 40 years and a drug addict for 36 years. It ruined his marriage, and his daughter and former wife became strangers to him.

He was given a shot at redemption when the idea for the book was made. He had just a couple of months to live, so a group of volunteers raced against time to put his story together.

The 36-page photo diary titled What's Left Of Me - A Former Addict's Pilgrimage To Forgiveness In His Final Days was published in January.

He told The New Paper at the time: "I hope youngsters will read the book and realise how dangerous drugs can be. And for those who are taking drugs, I hope they will realise the danger and give up."

It is a touching tale of how a man who lived a lifetime hooked on drugs finally realises his mistakes and wants to make things right.

Only limited copies were printed due to the high cost of production and the print copies were for his close family members, friends, social workers and volunteers. But there's an online version of the book on HCA Hospice Care's website at www.hca.org.sg There were initially fears that he might not live long enough to see it published, but he managed to do so and survived almost a year beyond the couple of months he was initially predicted to live.

He was then living with his father, Mr Haji Salleh Mohamad, 77, in a four-room HDB flat at Teck Whye.

But when his sister, Madam Junaidah Salleh, 44, found out that he was back in bad company late last year, she took him to live with her and her family in April.

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