Tributes paid to skilled neurosurgeon after he died in A505 crash between Royston and Baldock whilst travelling to Duxford Flying Legends Air Show

Jan Bodnar

Jan Bodnar - Credit: Archant

The family and friends of a gifted neurosurgeon who sadly died following a collision on the A505 on Sunday, July 12, have paid tribute to him.

Jan Bodnar, who was 37, died after the Orange Honda motorcycle he was travelling on was involved in a collision with an Audi Q3 on the Eastbound stretch of the A505 between Baldock and Royston.

Jan, who was born in Presov in Czechoslovakia studied medicine in Eastern Slovakia and also studied at Charles University in Prague.

He specialised in Neurosurgery in the Czech Republic and worked at a hospital there before coming to London in the spring of 2010 where he started work in the Neurosurgery department at Imperial College Hospital London.

Jan worked across two sites in London. He continued to work at Imperial and also worked at the Neurosurgery trauma Centre in St Mary’s.

His sister Barbara Diop – Bodnarova, said: “Jan was an incredibly caring and generous brother, friend and was a real professional. He was always smiling, always happy. He specialised in Neurosurgery because he had a passion for things that could not be explained and Neurosurgery is possibly one of the most difficult areas of medicine – the human brain fascinated him - and that was him – he loved the challenge of it all.

“He even studied with one of the world’s top neurology professors in Finland and took some photos of the surgery as part of his experience there which were used in a book published by the professor.

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“Jan also loved aviation and aircraft and had been on his way to Duxford on Sunday morning before the collision happened. We have dozens of aircraft models he made when he was a young boy and he continued to do it as an adult. He was known to buy them for friends so they could try it out. He was travelling to Duxford to a show when the collision occurred. He was so passionate about aircraft.

“Jan was so talented, he loved to write poetry, travel and take photographs. He also loved diving and had recently qualified as a Dive Master, he really embraced life and had many interests.

“Words cannot describe how much we will miss him.”

His mother Jana Bodnárová, and Juraj Bartusz – his step-father – issued the following statement:

“The tragic and early death of our deeply beloved Son Ján has hurt us so terribly that there are hardly any words to express our suffering. My dear boy had such a kind heart. He was a young man who loved life, and his profession of a doctor, immensely. He appreciated his colleagues, valued and loved his friends. Janko will stay in our hearts and minds forever. Let his soul reach peace of The Eternity. We pray for our dear Son.”

Jozef Bodnár, his father, said: “Janko was an extraordinary and beloved human being. A kind, devoted, tactful and loving son, brother, cousin, nephew and grandson.

“Precise and demanding in his work, he was collegial and friendly.

“Exceptional in his many and diverse activities, he was a great lover of nature and passionate about sports : diving, rock climbing, gliding and powered flying. He ran more than ten international marathons, both at home and abroad.

“He took creative interest in the multi-layered cultural expressions of art, philosophy and general history.

“Completely absorbed in the engaging but demanding work in the field of Neurosurgery, he continued to sharpen his precision, strength and alertness of a surgeon by pursuing his first and lifelong love - model-making.

Janko Bodnár, my only and dearest son.”

Mohammed Awad, a friend and colleague and Imperial College Hospital said: “Jan was larger than life, he was the life and soul of the party. He was so bubbly, a wonderful friend and colleague. He was a larger than life character with a great aptitude for work and play. He was an extremely capable neurosurgeon and many people owe their lives and wellbeing to his skills. He will be greatly missed by all of his colleagues at Imperial.”