'I want to help': How Kiwi Instagram star Logan Dodds is using his dad's death to help others

Around 9000 Kiwis will have a stroke every year - on average, about one an hour. 

In 2009, Logan Dodds' father was one of them. 

The travel influencer and content creator was 18 when his healthy and fit dad, Leigh Dodds, suffered a freak brain aneurysm. 

The 46-year-old "everyday normal Kiwi bloke" had never smoked a cigarette in his life, and would work out a few times a week. 

Dodds had just said goodnight to his father that night, nine years ago, when at 8:30pm Leigh's brain began to bleed. He became unresponsive, so his family immediately called him an ambulance. 

They were faced with the difficult decision of operating - but with the damage to his brain already done, the chances were high that Leigh's quality of life would be significantly diminished.  

Logan Dodds with his late father, Leigh.
Logan Dodds with his late father, Leigh. Photo credit: Logan Dodds / Supplied

Dodds was shattered, but eventually accepted that has selfless Dad, who will always be "a legend" in his eyes, had passed away. 

Despite a brief stint of being pulled down a rabbit hole and partying, when the qualified plumber was 22, he decided to live in the UK to play a season of rugby. 

He returned to New Zealand after two years when a close family friend suddenly passed away from cancer.

It was then the "life is short" philosophy emerged at the forefront of his mind, and Dodds travelled back to UK and Europe to finish his trip. 

He extensively documented his journey and in 2015, a video of his holiday went viral. 

Dodds says it is all in tribute to his Dad, who never got to take a trip to Europe with his wife, Logan's mum Karen. 

Logan Dodds with his mother Karen and sister Amy.
Logan Dodds with his mother Karen and sister Amy. Photo credit: Logan Dodds / Supplied

The 27-year-old has grown a social media profile around travel, sharing breathtaking images of unique destinations and awe-inspiring snaps of stunning locations.

His content creation of photos and videos sees him collaborate with a number of organisations and brands, including the Stroke Foundation, who Dodds is working with to share key warning signs that could save someone's life. 

"I want to help raise awareness as much as possible," Dodds said. 

"We did the best we could as soon as we could, and in some cases you might not be able to save someone - but I want to give people the best chance at helping their loved ones." 

Mark Vivian, Stroke Foundation CEO, told Newshub that strokes can happen to anyone. 

"The best way to tell if someone is having a stroke is in the FAST message," Mr Vivian said. 

"Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty. It's believed those symptoms are present in 85 percent of strokes. If you see any of them, call 111 immediately." 

Stroke patients are affected in varying ways, but for the best chance of recovery they must get to hospital as quickly as possible. 

If the stroke patient gets to hospital quickly, there are drugs and operations that will give them a great chance of recovery. 

Mr Vivian explained there is a lot that can be done to reduce the risk of a stroke. 

"The biggest one is to get your blood pressure checked regularly  high blood pressure is the number one cause of stroke," he said. 

"A quick, painless test will show if you have it, and if you do it can be treated by lifestyle changes, and if necessary, medication. 

"Eating healthy meals  especially maintaining a low-salt diet - exercising regularly, and quitting smoking are some of the other simple steps that will help keep you safe.

"Learn FAST. It's a life-saver. It could save the life of your best friend, someone you love, or even yourself."