VANCOUVER -- He knew his wife Daniela and nine-year-old daughter Dominica had gone to the airport in Wuhan Monday morning, hoping to get on the second Canadian evacuation flight out of the city at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak.

But Coquitlam’s Monte Gisbourne had no idea if they made it aboard the plane until they sent him a photo of them in their seats, preparing for takeoff.

“This proves to me it’s real," said Gisbourne. "They’re coming home."

The mother and daughter, who had gone to Wuhan to visit family before the virus forced the city into lockdown, had been holed up in an apartment for two weeks, afraid to go out.

“My wife's father was the designated food-getter. He would go out every few days, fully suited up, and go to what they called “safe markets,” meaning markets that sold food that there was no reported family or employees affected by the virus,” said Gisbourne

Daniela and Dominica were born in Wuhan and are permanent residents of Canada. After they weren’t on the list for the first evacuation flight last week, Gisbourne lobbied hard to get them on the second charter. His efforts paid off.

“My wife reported to me about 30 people were turned away,” he said. “Obviously not everyone enjoyed the success I experienced today.”

Gisbourne’s wife and daughter are among 185 people on the second Canadian evacuation charter that, like the first, will briefly touch down in Vancouver to re-fuel, before carrying onto CFB Trenton in Ontario.

“There's going be a 14-day quarantine at Trenton. I'm not allowed to visit them of course, nobody's allowed around them,” said Gisbourne.

Assuming they remain healthy, his wife and daughter will be able to return home to Coquitlam in two weeks.

“I just can’t wait to see them,” Gisbourne said.