Everyone's used to hearing friends complaining of having the flu. Got the sniffles? Flu. Bit of a headache? Flu. Trying to deny a hangover is the reason you've stayed in bed til 5pm on a Sunday? Hey, it's definitely flu.
In fact, it's become so commonplace in our day-to-day references that it's easy to forget the illness can also be fatal.
That's what nearly happened to an Australian girl, Mercedes King, who fell into a coma and nearly died from flu earlier this year, but is thankfully now recovering.
Now Mercedes' mother has said that her daughter's survival might be thanks to an angel the girl saw while she lay in hospital.
"I'm not religious at all but she'd talk about seeing an angel," mum Becky Seadon told the Brisbane newspaper the Courier Mail.
"I honestly believe people are looking over her. I wholly, wholly believe in that. I just think she's destined for big things. She's definitely very lucky."
Mercedes, who is a netballer in high school, complained of feeling ill on the night of 27 August before she was admitted to Mackay Base hospital in Queensland only hours later.
She was diagnosed with influenza B, pneumonia, sepsis and a bacterial infection as her organs suddenly began to shut down.
"Her kidneys had shut down, her liver wasn't good, her heart was not overly well," Ms Seadon said.
It became clear that the young netballer was suffering from mass organ failure, as both of her lungs had also collapsed.
This led doctors to put Mercedes on dialysis and into an induced coma as they battled desperately to stop her from deteriorating further.
Doctors told Mercedes' parents, Troy King and Becky Seadon, that she could have died in just hours if they hadn't called an ambulance so quickly.
Although the girl continued to fight for life, they were unable to tell King and Seadon whether their daughter would ever recover.
Mackay Base hospital, Queensland. Credit: Google Street View
Thankfully, equipment and a team of doctors were flown in from Lady Cilento Children's Hospital in Brisbane to keep Mercedes alive.
Once her condition became stable, the 14-year-old was eventually flown to Queensland's capital city to be treated further.
The teenager will finally return home in Mackay with her parents today after spending over two months in hospital, despite losing six kilograms (13.2lb) as she battled to survive.
Whatever your thoughts on angels, in a dreadful situation like the one Mercedes was in, having something to believe in can make all the difference.
Words: Chris Ogden
Featured Image Credit: GoFundMe