In early February of this year, plastic surgeons in Bohemia, Moravia, and Slovakia were deeply saddened to receive news from Varna that our esteemed Bulgarian colleague, Associate Professor Konstantin Troshev, had passed away. A well-known surgeon and academic, his many years of participation at conferences and seminars in the fields of plastic surgery and burn medicine; his active involvement with the editorial board of this very journal; and numerous other academic, cultural, and international activities remain a lasting testament to his lifelong dedication to his chosen field. We would like to, at least briefly, recall the most important moments of his life and work.
Konstantin Georgiev Troshev was born on January 27, 1940 to a family of food chemists in Ruse, Bulgaria. After graduating high school, he enrolled at the Charles University, Faculty of General Medicine in Prague, from which he graduated in 1964. Having become well-acquainted with Czech history, Czech culture and our way of life during his studies, Dr. Troshev retained very close ties to his alma mater Charles University. Indeed, Prague was even the setting in which he first met Ludmila; the Czech classmate who would later become his wife, and a pediatrician in her own right. Following his graduation from medical school, Dr. Troshev had hoped to immediately continue his postgraduate research studies under Professor F. Burian, as the young physician was very interested in the fields of plastic and reconstructive surgery and burn treatments. However, he was summoned back to Bulgaria to perform his military service. Nevertheless, his interest in plastic surgery prevailed; he eventually specialized in the discipline as a student of Prof. Burian, and later became a pioneer of the field in his home country Bulgaria. In 1976, he successfully defended his medical doctorate thesis at the Charles University. In 1988, he became the founding director of the plastic surgery and burn center at Naval Hospital Varna, which was then part of the Bulgarian Military Medical Academy. During that same period, he also successfully defended his habilitation thesis. By the end of his career, he had published more than 200 scientific papers and authored 8 monographs and textbooks.
K. Troshev contributed admirably not only to the field of knowledge itself, but also to the mutual strengthening of historic and cultural ties between the Bulgarian, Czech, and Slovak nations. In 1973, he founded the Society for Bulgarian-Czech and Slovak Friendship in Varna, which organizes cultural and educational events throughout Bulgaria. It is also active in Prague, as well as in other Czech cities, presenting concerts, exhibitions of young Bulgarian artists, and showcasing young scientists at our professional events. With respect to collaboration at the academic level, Assoc. Prof. Troshev founded a branch of Prague’s Carolinum Society in 1977, which serves the alumni and friends of Charles University who reside in Bulgaria. Konstantin Troshev had a great fondness for the study of Bulgarian-Czech relations within his chosen profession of medicine, and surgery in particular. He published numerous papers on the topic, the most significant monograph of which was entitled, “Czech Physicians in Bulgaria during the Balkan Wars of 1912–1913.” The bilingual publication was presented in Bulgarian and Czech, and was printed in two editions (1984, 2003).
Assoc. Prof. Troshev was the recipient of numerous prestigious Bulgarian and Czech awards, including the Order of Saints Cyril and Methodius, and the Memorial Medal of Charles University, the latter of which was presented during the university’s 650th anniversary ceremony. The award Konstantin held most dearly, however, was the Gratias Agit presented to him in 2003 by the Czech Republic Minister of Foreign Affairs for promoting the good name of the Czech Republic abroad. Assoc. Prof. Troshev maintained long-term personal and professional contacts with Czech and Slovak plastic surgeons, as well as our burn medicine associations. He lectured at our symposiums and congresses. For many years, he served on the editorial board of Acta Chirurgiae Plasticae (1998–2014) and promoted the journal among his Bulgarian colleagues. Equally significant was his charitable contributions to the community, such as his assistance in organizing summer camps near the Black Sea (organized by the “Bolíto” civic association) for Czech pediatric burn survivors. Assoc. Prof. Troshev even continued to maintain his ties with us through these last few years despite having been seriously ill. He last visited Prague in October 2013, when he participated in a requiem mass for Professor R. Königová, whom he had respected enormously throughout his life. Konstantin Troshev passed away in Varna on February 3, 2017.
Our esteemed colleague, dear friend, and man of distinguished character, left this world with honor, having accomplished a tremendous career that contributed immensely to Bulgarian medicine, plastic surgery, and burn treatment; and having successfully broadened and strengthened the mutual friendships between Czechs, Slovaks, and Bulgarians. Finally, it must also be said that Konstantin Troshev was an exemplary husband, a doting father of two daughters, and a loving grandfather of four grandchildren; he was fully devoted to his family and cherished them above all else.