By Juliette Goodrich

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) – More than two months after he was shot near the Coliseum in Oakland, a 72-year-old truck driver is finally returning home to Indiana. Through it all, his wife of five decades has been by his side.

After getting shot in the middle of the night in the cab of his 18-wheeler, trucker Jerry Matson has come to appreciate two things more than ever, how precious life is and how precious his wife Janet is.

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“Every day, that’s one tough lady,” Jerry Matson said.

KPIX 5 first interviewed Jerry at highland Hospital in Oakland. Three surgeries later, and weeks of rehab at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco, the couple is finally able to leave the Bay Area and head home to Auburn, Indiana.

“It’s only been two months and three days, but who’s counting? I’m ready to go home,” Janet Matson said.

The night Jerry was shot in his truck outside the Coliseum, his life changed in a heartbeat. The shooter took off and is still at large. For a moment, Jerry thought he wouldn’t make it.

In the past, Jerry would sleep in his truck inside the Oakland Coliseum if he had a delivery. On the night of the shooting, he was told by security he would have to park off coliseum grounds.

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Jerry’s plans down the road will be different. “I have no desire to get back in a truck,” he said.

The couple’s biggest desire now, to enjoy the comforts of home on a farm.

“I’m going to check on my chickens and my birds and get him settled in,” Janet said.

There is just one question Jerry keeps asking over and over, and it has nothing to do with what happened to him.

“I keep asking her why…why she has put up with me for 50 years?” Jerry said.

Janet responded, “I love him. We are two peas in a pod I guess.”

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The Saint Francis Foundation stepped in to help the couple when they were transferred to the hospital. The foundation put Janet up in a hotel, she had been sleeping in her car.

Juliette Goodrich