U.S. Medical Relief & Air Transport (MAT) Program

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What We Do

The Wings of Hope Medical Relief & Air Transport (MAT) Program provides medical air transport services, free of charge, to individuals who need specialized medical care that is not available to them locally. Using aircraft specially outfitted with stretchers to accommodate fragile and non-ambulatory patients, we fly individuals to hospitals and treatment centers in 26 states within a 600-mile radius of our St. Louis headquarters.
To ask about arranging transportation, please call us at
(636) 537-1302 or select the "MAT Flight Request Form" below.

Who We Serve

Although we place no age restrictions on those we transport, a majority are children with congenital disorders, and rare or life-threatening health conditions. Once we start transporting these individuals, we commit to transporting them to post-op care and treatment for as long as necessary. The MAT Program relieves these individuals and their families of the stresses and financial burdens of arranging and paying for travel.

Who Makes It Happen 

We rely on a highly skilled team of volunteers to provide safe, reliable transportation for the people we serve. Our volunteer pilots, mechanics, doctors, nurses and patient flight advocates must meet our strict training and licensing requirements. Our pilots must have their commercial pilot’s license and instrument rating and logged at least 1,000 hours in small aircraft.

“I am passionate about flying and helping people. Volunteering at Wings of Hope is a perfect opportunity for both.”         – Jack Taylor, MAT pilot

Meet Some of Our Patients

We fly Mason to St. Louis Children’s Hospital for treatment of a difficult and regressive case of clubfoot. Mason is on well on his way to walking brace free – and when he grows up, he wants to fly for Wings of Hope!

“All this has been so very overwhelming to us and your help has been so great. I don’t know if I could survive without your help!” Mason’s mom, Carla

Gracin was born with one leg shorter than the other. We fly her from central Kansas to St. Louis Shriners for bone lengthening. Gracin spends four hours a day doing physical therapy. Her mom, Traci, says she “couldn’t imagine adding 16 hours driving to that routine every two weeks.” When asked what Wings of Hope means to her, Traci says, “There are no words.”

Matthew was 28, serving his community as a police officer and his country in the National Guard, when cancer turned his life upside down. Treatments at his local hospital in Mississippi were not helping, so we flew Matthew to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. – a 15-hour trip by car. Because Matthew was able to get the most advanced care for his particular type of cancer, he is now in remission.

“You give and you help others, which is what we’ve always tried to do is give and help others,” says Matthew’s mother, Kim, “but you don’t know when it’s going to be you that needs the help. And we are so grateful for you reaching out to us in our time of need.”

Born premature and with mild cerebral palsy, Elizabeth spent the first five years of her life pulling herself around using her forearms, aka doing the “military crawl.” We flew Elizabeth from rural Kansas to St. Louis Shriners Hospital for major surgery – and continue to fly her for post-op treatments. Now, she is walking with a walker!

Amerlyn’s lower leg had to be amputated shortly after birth. We fly her from Kansas to St. Louis Shriners every 8-10 months to have her prosthetic lengthened. Amerlyn loves flying in the Wings of Hope plane – we love seeing the progress she’s made!

Griffin and Owen are not related, but their stories are incredibly similar. They were both born in the same month and year and with the same condition: clubfoot. When they were just weeks old, we started flying both of them from their hometowns to St. Louis Children’s Hospital to see a doctor nationally renowned for his nonsurgical treatment of clubfoot. They were both walking before they turned two — and are now hitting all their developmental milestones.

“At Thanksgiving, our 7-year-old daughter was making leaves that showed things she was thankful for. She made a beautiful leaf and on it she wrote, ‘I am thankful for Wings of Hope, because they helped fix my brother’s feet.’ We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. We know we wouldn’t be where we are in Griffin’s journey and medical diagnosis without all of you. Thank you once again for investing in our son’s life and giving us hope for a bright future!” Griffin’s mom, Amanda

“Wings of Hope means that this little boy gets to walk and run and play. If we were still getting treatment at home, I don’t see that we would be where we are today. We hit a wall, and Wings of Hope has allowed us to fly over that wall and give him so much more than we could have given him at home.” Owen’s mom, Jana

MAT Pilots 2022
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MAT Flight Request Form