Miller isn’t alone in experiencing serious or life-threatening complications as a result of the flu. 80,000 Americans died of the flu or flu-related symptoms last year, NPR reported, making 2017’s flu season the deadliest since the 1970s. Why was last year so deadly? Per The Washington Post, the deadly season correlates with the number of adults getting flu shots. Fewer than 4 in every 10 received the immunization.
“While most of my life has settled into a new ‘normal,’ the challenges are real,” Miller told A Plus of her experience post-skipping the shot. “The physical is obviously a day-to-day struggle, but so is the emotional and the financial. I’d prefer not to spend thousands of dollars each year on just being able to walk — and I have insurance!”
Miller is now 38 and living in Washington D.C., and she’s doing her part to try and prevent what happened to her from happening to others. She’s joining a number of flu survivors who are encouraging all Americans to get their flu shot, which decreases your chances of getting the flu and also reduces the severity of the flu in the event you contract it. Despite that, 53 percent of Americans skip their flu shot, according to the CDC.