In regards to tetanus infection, this must have been a long term basis; for in order for tetanus to be fatal is if it was not treated earlier, or if the patient was too embarassed to proceed to proper hospital/ medical channels when the early symptoms arose.
The problem of decadence in reporting such symptoms is the possibility of sepsis. When this spreads beyond local control of the regional lymph glands, this will in turn lead to pan-systemic spread, Septic Shock.
It is, indeed, unfortunate. Considering this patient could have been saved earlier with proper treatments of say:
Probenicid + Third or Fourth Generation Cyclos.