A former Pembroke teacher who was shot and critically wounded in Honduras is being airlifted to an Ottawa hospital on Wednesday.

After multiple surgeries, family and friends told CTV Ottawa Dennis Spencer's condition has improved enough for him to return to Canada, where he's expected to arrive in Ottawa Wednesday night.

Ronald Vair, superintendent of the small Honduras English-language school where Spencer works, says his colleague is in high spirits and great shape considering what he's been through.

Spencer, 59, was shot in the upper body when he was caught in the middle of a wild shootout between two rival gangs on March 27.

Vair told CTV Ottawa that Spencer's condition has improved drastically. His sense of humour has returned and he has no problem recognizing familiar faces.

Spencer has spent four years living in Honduras, where he's principal of Escuela Internacional La Lima. Throughout his hospital stay, students who attend the tight-knit school showed their support by holding a vigil for his recovery.

As a symbol of his thanks, Vair says Spencer made a video that will be shown to his students on Thursday, thanking them for their continued support.

The air ambulance trip from Honduras to Ottawa is expected to cost between $30,000 and $35,000. Family members say only $5,000 of the cost is expected to be covered by Spencer's insurance.

A trust fund to help cover the remaining cost has been set up at CIBC. Donations can be made at any CIBC branch through the Ed Gionet and Carolann Zohr Trust Fund for Dennis Spencer. The account number is 00806 1497634.